Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
martinb

Thinking of selling my M8 and some lenses..

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I am not a leica user but a professional photographer, stepping into rarefied leica atmosphere

 

Purely from my perspective.

 

The leica M8 would not be my choice to start a photography career but it does not mean you will fail. It just limits your choice in assignments.

 

Forget about selling the M8. Selling it would only waste the valuable time you spent on deciding to buy it in the first place.

 

Use its strengths as the basis of your strategy to survive the first two years. Cash is very important. Building up a consistent cash flow is critical. Before you start make sure you have enough cash to survive nine months to a year while waiting to get paid.

 

Forget the backup equipment for the first year. Take on non-time critical assignments if possible. i.e. if you screwed up you can do it again. Build up the cash. Get the Canon as soon as you can. Not as backup but to diversify your scope. Think of them as strategic assets to get the job done.

 

Long term clients value reliability, empathy(understanding their needs) and service from their vendors (at least my do). Quality work is a given if you want to continue making a living. Your needs take second place but in the long haul its like a marriage relationship. You can match make or you date.

 

A date is more personal and more work. Getting to know the needs and building understanding and making your client look good. Usually bread and butter clients who pay the bills fall in this category and very likely where your business will begin from.

 

A match made relationship is built on attributes. Experience, specialties, skills, and other endowments are matched by agencies to the needs to the clients who ... ahem pay accordingly. Love may flourish later but not necessarily. Ahh... Fortune 100 ... 500 companies fall in this category.

 

Plan for time-out. Make it a discipline. Work with other pros, they are not competition, no... really!

 

These day the fast pace flow of technology and the value of the internet means the status of a professional is less than it was once. Consider the value of this forum where the many non-professional and professional photographic talents gather to make the M8 work as a professional camera rather than fail as it might well have or more likely remained within a largely amateur sphere.

 

Good luck and God bless!

 

I sense a Leica M8 in my future largely due to the encouraging efforts of Guy, Jaime and many others. But it is not the near future ; ) Too much of my work requires a DSLR but distilling the profitable portion of my business does reveal hope for an M8 or better still an even more professional version of the M8.

 

Not to raise hackles but I feel with Canon's 1DmkIII on the horizon perhaps Leica should concentrate on improving, extending and modernizing the M series rather continue with the R. The M8 represents a sufficiently different approach in photography for me to consider it a complementary system. The inertia to move sufficient numbers of professional DSLR users to leica R10 DSLR is rather great. First you need to be a successful photographer, second you need the superb quality and thirdly you must be disgusted enough with your current idiosyncrasies of equipment to want to supplement or replace them with a Leica and its idiosyncrasies. For many of the professionals good enough is well...... good enough.

 

Thanks, and keep up the great community. Sorry Martin, too long a post but then I rarely post. Hope I am forgiven.

 

Alex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just keep it because there will always be a place for the type of shots it is capable of ... but it's not a super camera that does everything.

 

If you are into available light photography, the clear low light machines are from Canon ... and are not MF digital backs ... most of which top out at ISO 400, and in reality produce that stunning image quality at ISO 200 or less. (BTW, nothing Canon or Nikon may do will come close to these backs ... it's a matter of real-estate just like with film).

 

That said, most of the top end DSLRs will fill the bill. Even though I'm not a fan of the 5D, it is an incredible image maker using a huge range of ISOs with little to no struggle in post.

 

Setting aside emotions and treating it strictly as a business decision, keep the Leica, and get a 5D with a couple of lenses ... 24 tilt/shift for architecture, a 100/2.8 macro, and a telephoto zoom (70-200/2.8 IS) ... plus the back-up lens for the Leica like a 24-70/2.8 or 24-105/4 IS for event work ... nothing wrong with getting mint used stuff either.

 

Thanks for the advice Marc. Yes, Canon's have good high ISO but most of their lenses aren't great at large openings + you have a mirror + no in body IS.

For personal projects or stock I think I would live very happily with just the M8, but may not be enough for the rest.

Another question. Why's everybody talking about Canon.. What about Nikon, Olympus and Pentax? I'm not a huge fan of Canon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry, but I thought you already got enough answers about equipment and you seemed a little unsure about why you were thinking of changing equipment. Lots of photographers have done all kinds of jobs with all kinds of equipment. To repeat - you can surely use what you have until you need something else since your potential needs are still up in the air. But I thought I was being informative (not negative) and wasn't trying to discourage you about architecture. I was trying to give you advice, a few tips and and encourage you to specialize a bit in that or some other field. You just can't go all directions at once if you expect to get anywhere unless your market is so small that you are forced to be a generalist. (Stock, architecture, fashion, events, etc.) And if that's the case either you'll need several systems or one that will do it all adequately. (Canon full frame - but I didn't want to say that here.)

 

Sometimes I hate to say this publicly, (but my career is ok even if the architectural photography market becomes flooded): Architecture and interior photography for builders, designers, retailers, renovators, architects, real estate developers, related manufacturers and suppliers is one of the few good markets in photography if you are in a region with a lot of new development. Consider how many people and companies have a stake in a new building or housing development. Lots of photographers can't do a good job of it, it isn't impacted by competition from stock, there is a lot of money at stake and the real estate developers and builders have deep pockets. They need good photographs of their products to sell them, always have new products, and can use the same photographer over and over again. Many of these clients appreciate good photography, the skills and effort required, and will pay accordingly. With luck you can build relationships that last decades as I have done. I can understand why it wouldn't appeal to everyone. (It didn't appeal to me either until I saw the business potential and also realized I wasn't going to be the next W. Eugene Smith.)

 

I used to be president of the Mid Atlantic chapter of ASMP, was a national director of ASMP and am a member of APA. In those capacities and others, I've dealt with hundreds of professional photographers in all fields. So I'm not trying to discourage you. I'm just trying to make sure your eyes are wide open and you are looking in the right places. There will always be a need for new photographers if they are good.

 

Alan, I'm sorry. I read both posts again and I came of as a bit rude. It's very friendly of you and I really appreciate your advice. You seem to know a lot and have very much experience.

I know quite a bit about how's the photography market is looking where I live. Before I assisted a pro photographer I was an assistant at a commercial agency so I've seen the market from both directions so to say.

As you say architecture and interior can be a very profitable market if you live in the right region. The region I'm living in is really growing so it might be the right region. I thought about using the M8 for this purpose, but as I've read all your posts it might not be the right tool. A FF Canon system with good wide lenses alongside my M8 might be a bit too much for me at the moment. And the thing is that I would probably have to backup that 5D body too..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am not a leica user but a professional photographer, stepping into rarefied leica atmosphere

 

Purely from my perspective.

 

The leica M8 would not be my choice to start a photography career but it does not mean you will fail. It just limits your choice in assignments.

 

Forget about selling the M8. Selling it would only waste the valuable time you spent on deciding to buy it in the first place.

 

Use its strengths as the basis of your strategy to survive the first two years. Cash is very important. Building up a consistent cash flow is critical. Before you start make sure you have enough cash to survive nine months to a year while waiting to get paid.

 

Forget the backup equipment for the first year. Take on non-time critical assignments if possible. i.e. if you screwed up you can do it again. Build up the cash. Get the Canon as soon as you can. Not as backup but to diversify your scope. Think of them as strategic assets to get the job done.

 

Long term clients value reliability, empathy(understanding their needs) and service from their vendors (at least my do). Quality work is a given if you want to continue making a living. Your needs take second place but in the long haul its like a marriage relationship. You can match make or you date.

 

A date is more personal and more work. Getting to know the needs and building understanding and making your client look good. Usually bread and butter clients who pay the bills fall in this category and very likely where your business will begin from.

 

A match made relationship is built on attributes. Experience, specialties, skills, and other endowments are matched by agencies to the needs to the clients who ... ahem pay accordingly. Love may flourish later but not necessarily. Ahh... Fortune 100 ... 500 companies fall in this category.

 

Plan for time-out. Make it a discipline. Work with other pros, they are not competition, no... really!

 

These day the fast pace flow of technology and the value of the internet means the status of a professional is less than it was once. Consider the value of this forum where the many non-professional and professional photographic talents gather to make the M8 work as a professional camera rather than fail as it might well have or more likely remained within a largely amateur sphere.

 

Good luck and God bless!

 

I sense a Leica M8 in my future largely due to the encouraging efforts of Guy, Jaime and many others. But it is not the near future ; ) Too much of my work requires a DSLR but distilling the profitable portion of my business does reveal hope for an M8 or better still an even more professional version of the M8.

 

Not to raise hackles but I feel with Canon's 1DmkIII on the horizon perhaps Leica should concentrate on improving, extending and modernizing the M series rather continue with the R. The M8 represents a sufficiently different approach in photography for me to consider it a complementary system. The inertia to move sufficient numbers of professional DSLR users to leica R10 DSLR is rather great. First you need to be a successful photographer, second you need the superb quality and thirdly you must be disgusted enough with your current idiosyncrasies of equipment to want to supplement or replace them with a Leica and its idiosyncrasies. For many of the professionals good enough is well...... good enough.

 

Thanks, and keep up the great community. Sorry Martin, too long a post but then I rarely post. Hope I am forgiven.

 

Alex

 

Thanks Alex!

You might be right about that the M8 may not be the right tool to start a photography career. But today I think it's important to make your own niche and not go the same way as all the others. I'm not saying that the equipment makes the photographer though.

For stock, fine art, available light, reportage and documentary work I can't think of a better tool than the M8, but it may not be that great for architecture as I thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For stock, fine art, available light, reportage and documentary work I can't think of a better tool than the M8, but it may not be that great for architecture as I thought.

 

Well done Martin, you've got it. I have shot a lot of architecture, I have down sized to the M8 and part of that process is the need to sell a Linhof 6x9 outfit, and a Hasselblad Arc Body [the architectural camera].

 

In your shoes, I would keep the M8, stretch yourself to a 5d and 24 shift [more than a few of us are sad that Nikon have foresaken wide shift lenses for digital], make do, and borrow lenses where needed until you are clear to make additional purchase.

 

Boy oh boy. What a place this is. You have had some seriously good advice in this thread. Back your talents, and good luck.

 

.................Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guy_mancuso

Martin let me go back to one of my posts and give you some more idea's. say you go in one certain direction or speciality and than get asked to shoot something that you know your gear would be tough to use. Now let's figure a example here say you do a day rate scenerio with billing than let's say it is 1800 us per day with limited one year rights. Now you want the gig to shoot but you need to rent and let's say for that day it's 250 for a full Canon setup 5d and 3 lenses. now you can do one or two things depending on the client , one charge for that gear or eat the costs and make 1550 for that day. Me I would do it and suck it up. My client prices are all over the map one high , one low on in the middle and hell if they pay me that day i will work for a steak dinner. LOL Just kidding on the last one but your rates may vary all over the place anyway. So why invest 12k when you may never see a actually return on a piece of equipment for the year that you only use 1000 dollars of it in time, rent it instead. For barely used gear it is not worth investing the money put that money in your marketing to get more work. Basically use your money wisely that will get you ahead not behind in CC debt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Well done Martin, you've got it. I have shot a lot of architecture, I have down sized to the M8 and part of that process is the need to sell a Linhof 6x9 outfit, and a Hasselblad Arc Body [the architectural camera].

 

In your shoes, I would keep the M8, stretch yourself to a 5d and 24 shift [more than a few of us are sad that Nikon have foresaken wide shift lenses for digital], make do, and borrow lenses where needed until you are clear to make additional purchase.

 

Boy oh boy. What a place this is. You have had some seriously good advice in this thread. Back your talents, and good luck.

 

.................Chris

 

Thanks for the advice Chris. Agree about all the advice I've gotten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guy_mancuso

Martin just a FYI i use a modified Olympus 24mm shift lens that was converted to a Leica R than i use a R to M adapter for the M8. Yes it's like shooting blind but I have the hang of it and LCD and tethered will help. So it can be done but maybe not the most practical.Now if I had a 5D than I would have some Leica glass for it and maybe Canon's 90 shift or there 24 shift which I am not that fond of. leica does have a 28mm shift lens for the R that is very nice also. So there are options out there to consider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin let me go back to one of my posts and give you some more idea's. say you go in one certain direction or speciality and than get asked to shoot something that you know your gear would be tough to use. Now let's figure a example here say you do a day rate scenerio with billing than let's say it is 1800 us per day with limited one year rights. Now you want the gig to shoot but you need to rent and let's say for that day it's 250 for a full Canon setup 5d and 3 lenses. now you can do one or two things depending on the client , one charge for that gear or eat the costs and make 1550 for that day. Me I would do it and suck it up. My client prices are all over the map one high , one low on in the middle and hell if they pay me that day i will work for a steak dinner. LOL Just kidding on the last one but your rates may vary all over the place anyway. So why invest 12k when you may never see a actually return on a piece of equipment for the year that you only use 1000 dollars of it in time, rent it instead. For barely used gear it is not worth investing the money put that money in your marketing to get more work. Basically use your money wisely that will get you ahead not behind in CC debt

 

Renting isn't a bad idea, but the rental prices where I live are very high. An 1Ds Mark II and TSE 24mm alone would be at least 300 USD a day excluding taxes. A P45 back and a Hassy outfit with two lenses over 1000 USD a day excluding taxes.

An old 1Ds body might be an option for architecture? pretty damn cheap now, good resolution and 100% viewfinder..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guy_mancuso

Frankly the 1ds is the better camera at low ISO's. I really was not happy with the image quality moving up from the 1ds. but the 1ds at low ISO's and good light is hard to beat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin just a FYI i use a modified Olympus 24mm shift lens that was converted to a Leica R than i use a R to M adapter for the M8. Yes it's like shooting blind but I have the hang of it and LCD and tethered will help. So it can be done but maybe not the most practical.Now if I had a 5D than I would have some Leica glass for it and maybe Canon's 90 shift or there 24 shift which I am not that fond of. leica does have a 28mm shift lens for the R that is very nice also. So there are options out there to consider

 

Yeah, I've heard about that one. Oly makes some amazing glass for sure. But I don't think I would want to use a t/s lens blind and besides, at 32mm equivalent it wouldn't be wide enough for interiors.

I know a t/s lens is great but why not use a sharper and better lens than the tse 24mm and do the rest in PP? You just have to leave a little more space in your pictures for a little perspective correction and crop later. I'm sure the 15mm heliar is a lot better.. The best wides are not t/s lenses. Of course if using large format and digital back you get both quality and t/s at an astronomical cost though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guy_mancuso

I use it for certain things but really the WATE and CV12 and 15mm are extremely good lenses when shot correctly , so I really don't worry about the M wides at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know a t/s lens is great but why not use a sharper and better lens than the tse 24mm and do the rest in PP? You just have to leave a little more space in your pictures for a little perspective correction and crop later. I'm sure the 15mm heliar is a lot better.. The best wides are not t/s lenses. Of course if using large format and digital back you get both quality and t/s at an astronomical cost though.

 

Yes the 1Ds is very good. I still use mine for most of my interiors. I like the 5D for exteriors and lifestyle because it is lighter and faster.

 

I have 6 PC or TSE lenses for my Canon. If I am shooting a large number of images, I don't want to have to correct them all in software before showing them to the clients because this takes time. Also you can use a shift lens and still do additional perspective adjustment in software. And the lenses are quite sharp. My 24 TSE is a very good sample apparently. I just got the 45 TSE and it looks good to me. My Nikkor 35 f2.8 PC is great as is my Russian 55. My Nikkor 28PC hasn't seen much use so I can't say I have really studied it. I used it a lot on my Nikons with film and it looked fine.

 

When working with clients on site, and especially shooting interiors tethered, it is much nicer to have the image on the screen look good than to keep having to say, "This will look fine when I correct for the convergence."

 

That being said, DxO software makes it very easy to adjust the geometry of an image at the raw conversion step. And it makes all of the lenses almost distortion free, corrects C/A, vignetting, etc. So I will shoot with my 16-35 at 16mm tilted down and then correct the persective and all will be well. DxO does wonders to make images from the Canon wide lenses much much better and images from some of my other Canon lenses nearly perfect. (From an optical standpoint that is.)

 

Also, when thinking about quality, keep in mind that many clients these days mostly use the images on the web. There have beeen a number of times that I've sent my clients screen res "proofs" and they haven't asked for hi res. When I call them they said the low res images were fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wasn't there a thread here a while back where a member posted images of an olympic pool in barcelona? taken with the 15 and 12 CV? pretty amazing stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm going to throw this teaser out there: I am faily sure I can come up with a horizont/vertical shift mount for the C/V 15 and maybe 12 lenses for the M8. this will rely on the non-coupled focus and crop factor, and obvioulsy, the ability to chimp. besides the occasional stitch (done by shifting the lens left and body right, Alan, to retain the lens axis with repect to the scene), I want to control vertical perspective. the recent interiors I have shot have used the 5d and 24mm shift lens (it ain't Leica glass), and i have been toying with making a shift adapter for the 5d and the Flectogon 21. It may be time tio move these forward

 

Hi John,

 

You and I talked about doing that with the Flek 20 some time ago, didn't we? The key question would be how large an image circle is cast by each of these lenses. The M8's crop factor gives one a little wiggle room with the CV lenses but my guess is that both of them cast image circles that are just big enough for 35 mm film (and even then with some vignetting). An architectural photographer friend of mine, however, was experimenting and seemed to think the Flek 20 had a fairly generous image circle. I'm curious to see what you come up with. You bought that Flek we talked about, right? I would *love* to have a good 20 shift lens for the Canon bodies and I imagine some might also use it with the M8.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 20-21 shift on a 5D is like the holy grail for interior shooters. I used to do a lot of interior work on a view camera using a 47mm lens and 6x9 roll film. That was like a 20mm shift lens and I really miss it. How big is the image circle on a 21 Flektagon and do you really think this is mechanically possible without shadowing from the mirror box?

 

Amen to that first statement. See my post above. John and I, if memory serves, were discussing this idea last year after he read my review of the Flek 20 (it's not a 21 actually). It might be possible. Even 4 mm of shift with a 20 could be quite useful.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And if that's the case either you'll need several systems or one that will do it all adequately. (Canon full frame - but I didn't want to say that here.)

 

Again, I agree. The M8 is my favorite digital camera of all time but, objectively, the Canon FF cameras are extremely versatile as professional tools and that, obviously, is why so many of us use them (in my case, in addition to the M8).

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the advice Marc. Yes, Canon's have good high ISO but most of their lenses aren't great at large openings + you have a mirror + no in body IS.

For personal projects or stock I think I would live very happily with just the M8, but may not be enough for the rest.

Another question. Why's everybody talking about Canon.. What about Nikon, Olympus and Pentax? I'm not a huge fan of Canon.

 

There are two reasons that Canon is dominating some areas of professional digital photography right now (and I do mean dominating). One is that they make several full-frame cameras and that's very important for architectural work, for example. The second is that their cameras work better at high ISO than anything else on the market, by a good margin. That high ISO performance can be important for weddings, some photojournalism, etc. I do indeed deliver work to clients that was shot at ISO 3200 and having usable ISO 3200 files is incredibly useful sometimes. I actually prefer certain aspects of the D200 but I would not ever want to be without a Canon FF camera for some of my work.

 

The real weakness of the Canon system is in the ultra-wides (hence the various articles I've written on that topic). From 35 mm up there are very good lenses available from Canon if one is willing to accept some bulk and weight. It's not true that their lenses don't do well wide open, one simply has to choose lenses for Canon bodies carefully. By contrast, of course, almost all of the modern RF lenses are very good.

 

I'll probably never love Canon DSLRs the way I love the M8 and RF lenses, but, objectively and pragmatically, one cannot deny the versatility and competence of the former.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In your shoes, I would keep the M8, stretch yourself to a 5d and 24 shift [more than a few of us are sad that Nikon have foresaken wide shift lenses for digital], make do, and borrow lenses where needed until you are clear to make additional purchase.

 

.................Chris

 

There is indeed some excellent, and very realistic, advice in this thread and I agree with you about the above. My article on the two 24 shift lenses (plus the Oly 35 Shift) should be done next week.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin just a FYI i use a modified Olympus 24mm shift lens that was converted to a Leica R than i use a R to M adapter for the M8. Yes it's like shooting blind but I have the hang of it and LCD and tethered will help. So it can be done but maybe not the most practical.Now if I had a 5D than I would have some Leica glass for it and maybe Canon's 90 shift or there 24 shift which I am not that fond of. leica does have a 28mm shift lens for the R that is very nice also. So there are options out there to consider

 

Hi Guy,

 

You may be really interested to see some more results from the 24 TS-E and Oly 24 side by side in this upcoming article. The copy of the Canon I tested is a good one (its my own lens and was chosen from several I tested a few years back) but I was surprised by some of what I found out.

 

I agree with your emphasis on spending money where it can do one the most good, business-wise.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy