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Used Leica M9 or Leica M8


Kelvinwu
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Hi guy

I am thinking of getting a second camera. I am currently using a d810 but when i go out with my friend, the camera is very heavy to carry around the whole day.

I think deciding between Leica M9, M9-P, M-E, M8. Still trying to figure out the difference between these camera and which one would fit my budget. My budget is around 2000-3000$ for the body only.

Thanks in Advance

Kelvin

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The M8 has only  limited technical support, as it is ten years old. 

One of the M9 series (M9,MP,ME) would be more advisable at your price point. Probably an M9 with some shopping around and haggling.  The difference between these cameras is small, mainly cosmetic. Technologically there is little to choose. Pick the camera that appeals to you at a reputable dealer with a good guaranty. Be very wary of eBay.

 

Make sure that the sensor has been checked for corrosion by Leica and/or replaced. This is a free service, if you can pick up a corroded one cheaply and afford to wait for the repair it could save you some money.

Only a relatively small percentage of cameras is affected, but it is something to watch out for.

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I was in a similar situation a few months ago (though coming from Canon 5D2, which I still have but use a lot less nowadays...), and I did narrow choices down to full frame choices, as (1) I am too used to full frame to move away from it (advantages of the larger sensor in terms of noise, dynamic range, etc), (2) I did not want to get 35mm lenses chosen with respect to a smaller sensor and have a quirky system when I upgrade to full frame later and (3) I did not want to play with the color filters that the M8 requires.

 

Then, I did let the opportunities decide for me. I ended up finding an M9 at 2000 €, (lower end of your budget) that was quasi new (about 2500 frames on it, not a single scratch except the bottom plate...), and I think that was excellent, because I could spend a bit more on glass later. I could not be happier. 

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Hi guy

I am thinking of getting a second camera. I am currently using a d810 but when i go out with my friend, the camera is very heavy to carry around the whole day.

I think deciding between Leica M9, M9-P, M-E, M8. Still trying to figure out the difference between these camera and which one would fit my budget. My budget is around 2000-3000$ for the body only.

Thanks in Advance

Kelvin

That's M9 money, but what about lenses?

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a FF seems the obvious choice here.

As a start lens you could have a look at a good old Summicron. (F 2.0)

40mm-C is the best bargain. It can be used best with the 35mm frame. Unfortunately it will bring up the 50mm frames without modification. So a CLA and modification might be necessary for you.

 

50mm v3 is the next best value for money and if you have a bit more money left 35mm and modern v5 50mm are an option. Be prepared to pay for a CLA, these lenses are 30-40 years old. Watch out for scratches on front or rear element.

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I'm in the UK so will accept others' advice that you can get some form of M9. I've never used an M8 - I know it has its fans (especially for black-and-white)..but I wanted full frame, and was a little put off by the (cosmetic) LCD problem that can no longer be fixed by Leica. Although there are technical differences between the M9, M9-P and M-E, documented elsewhere, at the risk of being labelled 'shallow' I would approach this from two directions that are both to do with cosmetics.

If you like black bodies then you can be served with M9 or M9-P. Chrome is an option for M9-P..the alternative to black for M9 is what I would call gun metal grey. I've never seen an M-E in the flesh but it seems to split opinions. Choosing between M9 and M9-P dictates whether you get a red dot on the front and non-engraved top plate..or not.

The other direction, already raised, is to do with condition. Buying a 'beat up' body will save money - and one that has a confirmed corroded sensor may be a good buy. Your camera may be away for a few months, but will be returned with a second generation sensor, having been serviced. For free. Of course a beaten up body may have lots of clicks - that may be important to you. Mint bodies, naturally, cost more. But if you are a heavy user then is it worth buying a mint body only to beat it up?

Hope this helps rather than hinders - you can be fairly sure whatever you buy will make you very happy! Good luck!

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Greetings.  I do not think that M8 is a stable platform because of its crop factor and age.  Once you get used to the M8 and feel comfortable with its attributes--and most likely, you will--the urge to get a full frame might start, and in such case, Leica M9 will be the likely next step.  Starting with M9, if financially feasible, will save you some time and possibly some money too.  

 

Additionally, if you are more of a 50mm user than a 35mm, then the cropping factor of the M8 will compel you to acquire either 35mm or 28mm, as the case maybe.  Both will work very admirably on the M8, but may be rather limiting with an M9.  If you are a 50mm user, your 35 mm will not cut it on M9, and similarly your 28mm that you might have already acquired because it offered you 35mm on M8, will be itself on M9, that is, a 28mm.  Adjusting for your focal length preferences may also cost you additional money with the move to M9 from M8.

 

My 2 cents.  Enjoy in good health. 

Edited by ibramr
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Buy a M9 and avoid the issues with the M8, uv/ir filters, crop factor, coffee stain LCD that is not repairable,10 MP sensor.   One in good condition takes decent pics.

 

They are not high ISO cameras by any means.  Most users limit the 8 to 640,  the 9 to 1250.  

 

Leicas are small, but not lightweight.   If the 810 is too heavy,  consider a D750 or D5500.  Leica does have some wonderful light lenses,  but they are not the fast ones.

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Greetings.  I do not think that M8 is a stable platform because of its crop factor and age.  Once you get used to the M8 and feel comfortable with its attributes--and most likely, you will--the urge to get a full frame might start, and in such case, Leica M9 will be the likely next step.  Starting with M9, if financially feasible, will save you some time and possibly some money too.  

 

Additionally, if you are more of a 50mm user than a 35mm, then the cropping factor of the M8 will compel you to acquire either 35mm or 28mm, as the case maybe.  Both will work very admirably on the M8, but may be rather limiting with an M9.  If you are a 50mm user, your 35 mm will not cut it on M9, and similarly your 28mm that you might have already acquired because it offered you 35mm on M8, will be itself on M9, that is, a 28mm.  Adjusting for your focal length preferences may also cost you additional money with the move to M9 from M8.

 

My 2 cents.  Enjoy in good health. 

What is limiting about a 35 mm lens??

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What is limiting about a 35 mm lens??

 

 

A 50mm user would need to buy a 35mm to account for the crop factor with the M8.  At the assumption that the M8 will eventually be replaced by an M9,  the 35mm will need to be replaced by a different acquisition of a 50mm.  This is the same if he/she is a 35mm user, because with an M8, the lens of choice would be a 28mm.   The point is that starting with an M8 will require focal lengths that might change with the move to M9.  This change will likely cost additional money.  Yes, Leica M8 is an admirable camera, but if someone is starting a Leica system, maybe the M9 is a better point of embarkation.  

Edited by ibramr
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Having moved from the M8 to the M9 is 2012 I can say that the difference for me was huge. It's all been said before many times, But

 

Full frame, you can see the lenses as intended wide and fast is possible and don't forget that a cropped 35 does not look the same as a 50, plus 18MP vs 10MP

ISO - Whatever reports tests you have seen its a good stop better and moves the camera into just about where it can survive with very low light fast glass and hand holding. I struggled often with the 8 and manage with the 9, covet another stop but don't need it with the 9

IR filters, I hated them, enough said... Plus the M9 coloring is lovely, the 8 misses that density, saturation and look (Okay the M8 is good for B&W, but so is the 9, they are just different)

 

That's ignoring the support and longevity potential. If I could move the 9 as far ahead of the 8 for the small price difference (The M240 doesn't do that for me) I would without hesitation. No debate for me it's 9 !

Edited by IWC Doppel
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  • 1 month later...

Used both, ended up to MM.

The M8 has few glitches with bright light on edge of frame (creates green blobs) and is IR sensitive. And it is noisier.

However, once you fit a filter the colour for M8 are better than M9, really easy to get a nice palette without struggling with white balance etc.

The M8 sensor is smaller and so it is resolution, but the lenses work in the central area which is usually sharper and does not have issues of coloured edges. Thus the end results are very good and in some way superior to M9.

Obviously with an M9 you can crop and get the same result.

If I had to pick either a M8 or M9, would not assume M9 is the best choice without trying both.

G

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Am I going to change my mind, and review my recommendation accordingly, no, I am not.  But this is worth seeing.

 

 

Enjoy in good health.  And have a wonderful weekend.  

 

Greetings,

 

Just to complicate matters further -- this time, the other way around.  With adequate funds, I still think the the M9 is the more logical way to go.  Enjoy in good health.  Regards.  

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Have also owned and used both extensively, and agree that at current market prices the M9 is better value.

Saw some good recommendations for used Leica 40mm and 50mm summicrons (very good advice) but also take a look at the Zeiss 50 planar f/2 and sonnar f/1.5 if you want to buy new, or the Leica summarit f/2.4 range of lenses if you intend only to shoot in daylight.

Voigtlander do cheaper new glass with fast aperture, but my experience is it lacks the micro contrast of the Zeiss and Leica offerings, flares more easily, and tends to be a bit flat in rendering. Probably cheaper lens coatings. Works best for black and white but that is just my opinion and many are very happy with them. That sounds a bit harsh when written down like that, but I can only report my experience of 9yrs as a digital M user; I've owned three Voigtlanders and sold them all. My advice would be not to split your lens funds across several cheaper lenses to cover more focal lengths, but to invest as much of your initial lens budget as required to get Top quality in a single "normal" lens. You can't go wrong with a 50 'cron. You will likely be able to get a better deal if you buy the used M9 and a used lens together from a reputable Leica dealer. Good luck.

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