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"A Reviewer's Responsibility" Michael Reichmann reflection on his M8 Review

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As a November M8 purchaser, I agree with iron flatline's comments.

 

In the age of the 24 hour news cycle, people are expecting instant reporting and analysis. Sometimes it has rough edges. As one source of information, I enjoy reading the info on MR's site.

 

Bob Pierce

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Well, first, for Reichmann to publish this comment means that he was and still is concerned about the integrity of his review.

 

I think his approach is preferable to the rule of an audio magazine that comes to mind, which will not review pre-production products. In the case of the M8, it was necessary to review the "beta" product.

 

I agree with Reichmann's thought to have discussed the problem he found, as well as to couch it in soft language.

 

We don't want Leica either to go down in flames or to stop making products like the M8. With its faults, the M8 is a superb camera. With its faults it is my preferred photographic device.

 

It does no good to react emotionally to either of Reichmann's published comments. In his own words, the first was missing some information that he now wishes he had published. OK, that's how we learn, by making what WE OURSELVES view as mistakes. The rest of us can comment, but we don't get to describe such an omission as a mistake or savage the author.

 

There are several -- highly regarded -- members of this forum who "work closely" with Leica and/or other manufacturers. How would we cope without their advice, their ability to give feedback to the mfr, or their wisdom?

 

Kudo's to Michael Reichmann for his honest statement. And I'm glad he's the one who has the regret instead of me. That stuff sucks.

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As an editor/writer who has done tool reviews for more than 20 years, I can safely say that hindsight is 20/20 -- or better -- when it comes to reflecting on what I've written. Being on the business end of a review is considerably tougher than reading it and then finding fault. I think Reichmann generally does a very good job, but in this situation he made a few mistakes, which he acknowledges. We all have minds to analyze and opinions to apply when making choices, so it's important to remember to engage those resources when it's your money and your decision.

 

Larry

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I think there is a clear difference between a miss and a lie. Seems to me he made a miss here, as did Sean R, who admittedly also was a bit slow on this one....

 

Of course, I'm slower yet - only found out about this through Sean and the LUF...

 

And I'm not too sure all this hullabaloo is worth it. I rather like shooting without filters, without extensive IR issues, and mostly B/W. There is the odd color shot, a bit off, but hey, so is everyone elses, in one way or another.

 

Geoff

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I think that at least some of the people who are very upset with the IR filter issue may not have tried the recent firmware without the filters. I did so recently, by mistake, and was surprised how much the issue had improved. There is still some false colour, but not anything near what I was seeing way back when.

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I think there is a clear difference between a miss and a lie. Seems to me he made a miss here, as did Sean R, who admittedly also was a bit slow on this one....

 

Of course, I'm slower yet - only found out about this through Sean and the LUF...

And I'm not too sure all this hullabaloo is worth it. I rather like shooting without filters, without extensive IR issues, and mostly B/W. There is the odd color shot, a bit off, but hey, so is everyone elses, in one way or another.

 

Geoff

 

Hi Geoff,

 

I missed it at first but addressed it with additions to the review long before most writers ever published at all on the camera. I'm also the one who formally brought the issue to Leica and asked for a response (which I published as soon as I got it).

I've been working with them on this ever since. Since then, I've written more extensively about the IR issue, filters, cyan drift, etc. than anyone I know of. My site is full of information on this topic.

 

See these interviews if they're of interest:

 

Sean Reid - the interview extended | photostream

 

Interview with Sean Reid (Reid Reviews) | photostream

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Hi Geoff,

 

I missed it at first but addressed it with additions to the review long before most writers ever published at all on the camera. I'm also the one who formally brought the issue to Leica and asked for a response (which I published as soon as I got it).

I've been working with them on this ever since. Since then, I've written more extensively about the IR issue, filters, cyan drift, etc. than anyone I know of. My site is full of information on this topic.

 

See these interviews if they're of interest:

 

Sean Reid - the interview extended | photostream

 

Interview with Sean Reid (Reid Reviews) | photostream

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

Sean -

 

You are absolutely right. My point here was not to denegrate your work (for which we all have the highest regard) but rather to point out that the process by which this issue came to light happened through people, and through time. No one knew this instantly, and it came through quickly once uncovered. And yes, you've been most diligent in addressing this and all the other M8 issues on your site.

 

Sorry if any offense was taken. None was meant.

 

Geoff

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Sean -

 

You are absolutely right. My point here was not to denegrate your work (for which we all have the highest regard) but rather to point out that the process by which this issue came to light happened through people, and through time. No one knew this instantly, and it came through quickly once uncovered. And yes, you've been most diligent in addressing this and all the other M8 issues on your site.

 

Sorry if any offense was taken. None was meant.

 

Geoff

 

Hi Geoff,

 

No offense taken. I pointed you to the interviews because they cover the topic you raised.

 

Best,

 

Sean

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what iron flatline said.

 

JC

 

and now others too. That's my feeling also.

 

I'm pleased to see that the thread took a turn from its earlier vehemence and name calling. Reichmann's reviews were only one small contributor in my decision to buy the M8. I don't feel lied to and I have no regrets about my purchase. I continue to read Reichmann's site from time to time and respect his opinions even if I don't always agree with them. I'm more bothered by the tone and ad homonym attacks of the earlier posts in this thread than I am by R's review.

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People that put themselves out there should expect flack. It's part of the risk. Personally, I don't think denigrating the person themselves, like some are doing here, is worth the photons it takes to see them. But that's the cowardly, blustering, bag-of-wind internet for you ... just part of the risk of going public with your opinion.

 

Frankly, IF ( theoretical IF ) MR and other beta reviewers were in a giant conspiracy with Leica to dupe all the innocent, feeble-minded M buyers anxiously salivating in anticipation of a digital body ... a tip of the hat to them : -) Without it, the damned camera would've never made it to market, or would have withered on the vine... and I (selfishly) wouldn't have this great digital system to do my work with ... which all fits in a bag smaller than the box my Canon DSLR body shipped in.

 

However it went down: thanks for the errors, holding back, lies, omissions, or genuine process of questioning and communication with Leica guys, ( I prefer the last option ), you saved a great tool from an unnecessarily ugly death ... and in turn probably a great marque. This M8 camera could have been Leica's Contax Digital N ... which was the singular iceberg that sunk an entire line of excellent cameras.

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Having gone back and read MR note again, it is striking how even keeled it is. He is clearly troubled by what he thinks might have been a slippage in reporting on his part, but does recognize how it happened. I appreciate his discomfort, and applaud his willingness to put it "out there" and on the table.

 

Discussion - surely.

Personal attacks - unnecessary, to be sure.

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This whole topic would, in my opinion, make an ideal subject for a case study by a group, or an individual, from a reputable Business School. It has everything. I wonder if the absolutely necessary cooperation from Leica camers would be forthcoming.

 

Anyone from a Business School out there willing to try to make it happen?

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But, almost all business school will tell you ... let your PR person handle it. LOL

 

I agree with Marc, it's really just part of the risks letting your opinion going public, stuff happens ... and you shouldn't expect that everyone will agree with you and preach it like Bible. I really like Mr. Reichmann's style of writing, just that I've no interest in most of the things he reports on.

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This M8 camera could have been Leica's Contax Digital N ... which was the singular iceberg that sunk an entire line of excellent cameras.

 

Very well said!

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I have been told in the old days when we had pop and modern photography for reviews and not much else manufacters would send a lens if it did not measure up the magazines would have them send another lens that would. MR made a mistake admitted it in print. Where he made his money is not important that he would not do the same action again is. What does it say in the bible let he who is without sin cat the first stone. David

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But, almost all business school will tell you ... let your PR person handle it...........

 

Perhaps I did not make myself clear.

 

I have no opinion one way or the other about the activities of any particular, or individual, "reviewer". A very large number of them, indeed all of them as far as I can tell, "failed" for some, as yet unexplained, reason to discuss/reveal/criticise the M8's single greatest flaw - excessive IR sensitivity. I find this an interesting phenomenon and would be interested to understand it.

 

My suggestion regarding a business school is serious – I think the whole subject of the M8 and its launch would provide some fascinating material. It has absolutely everything a case study looks for – it is restricted in scope with clear subject boundaries. It is recent with all the key players still in place. It has drama – would Leica Camera survive. It has the company, the ultra loyal fan base, the drive for new customers, the reviewers, the damage limitation exercise, the unintended and unforeseen consequences of the technology, the genuine technical innovation – people, I think, still fail to fully appreciate what was achieved in the way of sensor design, technology and integration with an established lens set – all good stuff.

 

I would go so far as to suggest that Leica itself should initiate something along these lines – it could give them a very useful insight at very little cost.

 

Disclaimer – I have no connection whatsoever with any Business School or similar organisation.

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I did a brief case study a few months back, and I have a longer presentation on the technical trials on my academic website. Take a look at The Online Photographer

and see if it qualifies.

 

The whole story of the technical problems encountered kept reminding me of an old Robert Sheckley story about a bunch of hapless space jockeys who solve one problem after another, but each problem they solve creates an even bigger problem. The M8 was like that.

 

scott

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I have been viewing MR's website for several years now and like his approach to reviews - errr, his opinion which he usually qualifies upfront. I appreciate the fact that he published his retrospect for all to see and criticize.

 

I was an early adopter and certainly didn't like the surprises that followed. It would have been nice to know about the problems in advance because it may have affected my decision to buy into the M system at that time. However, I want to believe that no one - MR, beta testers, or Leica - understood the problem was generic.

 

In a strange twist, the M8 problems have probably helped to unite its users in a way that may not have happened otherwise. I am still loving my M8 even with growing pains.

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ho, how cute it is, review responsibility.. best camera in the world, review review, best best, digital digital, review, sample sample, resolution...

 

serious people are responsible for their actiion not only in Retrospective... not serious people is different story...

 

besides... what is MR ?? what is it - he is cool rap guy ?

HCB is cartier bresson, but what is MR ?

ok, i guess it say something about special m8 community.

)

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