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Longtime M4 user considering a Leica Q. Good camera?


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#1 hassiman

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 20:38

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I was considering the purchase of a Q 116.  It's expensive but not as expensive as an M10.  I still have and use my original Wetzlar M-4 and my 35mm and 50mm summicrons.  I kind of like the idea of a Q as I can no longer carry tons equipment all day when traveling.

 

I have a Nikon D810 and large glass for landscape and large print work... but I find a quiet little camera to be appealing?  How well do the full-frame RAWs from the Q print in larger sizes?  I always shoot RAW and use LR or PS to change to monochrome if called for.

 

Your thoughts?

 

Rich



#2 HighlandK

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 21:23

I have a D850 and some serious glass for landscape work. The Q is my ‘do most things extremely well’ camera. I too have moved beyond carrying loads of equipment any distance and certainly not when travelling unless it is a landscape specific trip. For me the Q is a back to basics camera in modern digital form. The big appeal is direct hands on for aperture, speed and if required, focus. To answer your particular point the quality of the image is outstanding and up to A3 matches the D850 in most situations. I find the sensor and lens perfectly matched. Ok 45 or so MP is pretty good for detail but it demands technical precision to get the most out of it. 24MP is much more practical and the quality of output exceeds the D850 if the latter is not handled well.

If you are looking for a take anywhere camera that matches your D810 in output quality I would not hesitate. By the way the quality is such that a 35/50mm equivalent crop will print to A3.
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#3 Tailwagger

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 21:48

Tough call.  The Q is a terrific camera, but OTOH, you have a pair of terrific M optics. I'm fortunate enough to own a M240, Q and M10. If two had to go, the M10 would absolutely be the one staying.  But assuming the M10 is off the table, one alternative might be a lightly used 240 or 262?  To my mind a decision between Q and some form of M in your circumstance would come down to a preference for 28mm as opposed to 35 or 50mm along with any desire for AF and EVF versus OVF and the classic rangefinder experience. Really can't go too far wrong either way. 



#4 hassiman

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 23:15

Thanks Guys,

 

Tailwagger... How well do the 1970's M Summicrons play with the M-10?  Ever tried them?

 

I'm in a real quandary.  My buddies say that I should upgrade to the D850 ( I have the 14-24 F2.8 and some other nice Nikon glass )  Another friend says get an A7rIII and use your Nikon and Leitz glass with adaptors.  My hesitation on the Q is not having seen through the EVF.  Does it use peaking like the sony?  

Love Leicas to death hence hanging on to my M-4 and Summicrons.  As much as I would like to drag a D850 to Rome and the Pantheon I think it would kill me.... but spending 6 grand on an M10 would assuredly cause my wife to kill me... 



#5 Infiniumguy

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:59

I went to the Baltic and Russia last summer. I took the Q and a Canon 5D3 with a 11-24 and 70-200 lenses. I took 80% of the photos with the Q and loved it, BUT there’s no substitute for really wide glass when in cathedrals. I’m glad I lugged what gear I did including a tripod.
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#6 Tailwagger

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 03:18

Thanks Guys,

 

Tailwagger... How well do the 1970's M Summicrons play with the M-10?  Ever tried them?

 

I don't own any 70's cron's, but half my glass is vintage and I would not have it any other way.  AFAIC, one of the joys of the M is access to the extended palette that 60 years of M-mount provides. The Q's Summilux is classic modern, very sharp, high contrast.  The old lenses are a typically a bit gentler, but they still can be pretty dang sharp.  Yet again, it comes down to personal preference. If you are really into having ever last pixel in all four corners as sharp as possible and refuse to shoot at anything over f4, you might not be completely satisfied with your lenses on an M. If, OTOH, you see your Nikon as the sharpest blade in the toolkit and enjoy complimenting it with a more organic look, you'll probably fall in love with any M. Its really something no other digital camera can provide.  I like having both styles available which is pretty much why I have an '70s Elmarit 28mm and Q.  

 

Of late with 35 and 50mm, I've been shooting with modern Leica and Zeiss designs, so most of my examples with the older glass are with the M240. If you go over to the M10 forum and take a look at the M10 image thread at the top of the page, I'm sure you'll many examples of folks using early Summicrons. Also over on the Lens forum, you can browse the View through Older Glass thread which certainly contains a lot of early Summicron examples. Best of luck!



#7 SonomaBear

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 04:00

By the way the quality is such that a 35/50mm equivalent crop will print to A3.


Exactly what I was going to say, let me reinforce it... I’ve sold 13”x19” prints from the Q at 50mm cropping. Care must be taken and print settings coordinated, but the 28/1.7 is optimized for this great sensor. BTW: always use DNG if you intend to crop deeply on the Q... imho

Edited by SonomaBear, 14 March 2018 - 04:02.

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Leica Q with me at all times.  DSLR kit only when 28mm will not be proper.


#8 robgo2

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 21:20

The Q is not merely a good camera, it is a great one, as long as you can accept the limitations inherent in a fixed, single focal length lens. It is extremely simple, fast and fun to use, and the IQ is stunning.


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#9 beez

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 22:38

Since turning pro in the early 1970s, I've always used a combo of Leicas (21/28/35/50mm lenses) and Nikons (14/24/35/105/80-200/300,2.8/400,2.8) and in the 70's had an M2R and two M4s. I still have the M4s and lenses - all Crons except the 21/2.8 - and have used the lenses on an M8 and an M9, and they work great with the digital bodies. While the newer asph lenses are sharp (maybe even a bit sharper), they also - to me anyway -  have a lack of character and tend to flatten out perspectives for the sake of a tiny bit less distortion. I used a modern 21/2.8 asph Elmar on the M8 to get the 28mm with the M8's APS-H slightly cropped sensor, but reverted back to my older 21 for what was a much better looking rendering, imho.

 

It's a myth that the older lenses don't have enough resolution to support today's digital sensors. The equivalent resolution of good 355 film is generally accepted to be the equal of 24 megapixel sensors. Sensors have much more dynamic range than film. I also use lenses from the 70s and 80s on my new digital Nikons (7200, 750, 850) and I think they look better than the new lenses. Even my 300/2.8 is from the late 80s. Newest Nikon lens I have is the Gen1 400/2.8 from 1995. I just like the look of old glass, I guess.

Unless you're really hankering to have the auto-focus capability, and/or a 28lux, If I was in your position I'd be looking for a lightly used M240 M-P to use with the glass you already have. I bought my Q specifically for covering the presidential campaign trail the last half of 2015 through 2016, and wanted the fast AF and fast f-stop for my main around the neck camera, which has always been a Leica with a 28mm on it. I've also  found the Q to be an amazing camera for a lot of other stuff I shoot, and the focus peeking is great for manual focusing. I use it a lot for location editorial portraits with multiple strobe set ups, and for studio sessions with and without strobes.


Edited by beez, 14 March 2018 - 22:38.

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#10 Guest_jvansmit_*

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 03:24

 I kind of like the idea of a Q as I can no longer carry tons equipment all day when traveling.

 

 

 

I love shooting rangefinders but when I'm travelling, I always take the Q, and leave my much heavier MM1 + lenses at home. I take a small Ricoh GR as back-up.

 

As well as being more versatile, (assuming you're Ok with 28/35mm), the Q is much lighter, easy to carry every day, and I can't tell cropped prints at 35mm apart from my MM1 prints at A2 size....they're certainly fine for exhibitions at that size.

 

What I do find though is that my photos are different with the Q. Maybe this is because it's easier to lift to my eyes, and adopt a snapshot kind of style whereas I'm more considered with the Monochrom.

 

cheers,



#11 fotografr

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 04:18

If you travel a lot you'll be thrilled with the freedom to carry just the Q rather than a lot of heavy gear. The image quality is outstanding and the files easily hold up for making large prints. I had a 30"x40" metal print made from one of my Q images for a local bank. They hung it in the lobby and are quite happy with it.

 

Nothing against the M10, which is a great camera, but the Q is easier and faster to use in my opinion, so when traveling you'll miss fewer shots.


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#12 Voxen

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 09:17

The Q is the best camera I ever owned in 35 years of photography.



#13 mctuomey

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 17:05

If you travel a lot you'll be thrilled with the freedom to carry just the Q rather than a lot of heavy gear. The image quality is outstanding and the files easily hold up for making large prints. I had a 30"x40" metal print made from one of my Q images for a local bank. They hung it in the lobby and are quite happy with it.

 

Nothing against the M10, which is a great camera, but the Q is easier and faster to use in my opinion, so when traveling you'll miss fewer shots.

 This!

 

 

The Q is the best camera I ever owned in 35 years of photography.

 This too!


Edited by mctuomey, 16 March 2018 - 17:06.

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#14 prk60091

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 17:52

I was considering the purchase of a Q 116.  It's expensive but not as expensive as an M10.  I still have and use my original Wetzlar M-4 and my 35mm and 50mm summicrons.  I kind of like the idea of a Q as I can no longer carry tons equipment all day when traveling.

 

I have a Nikon D810 and large glass for landscape and large print work... but I find a quiet little camera to be appealing?  How well do the full-frame RAWs from the Q print in larger sizes?  I always shoot RAW and use LR or PS to change to monochrome if called for.

 

Your thoughts?

 

Rich

i have several 24" x 36" ( approx A1 size) metal prints in my home made from  Q dng's  and they look spectacular. 


Edited by prk60091, 16 March 2018 - 17:54.

take a peek @ my pix http://prk60091.com


#15 robgo2

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 21:35

Since turning pro in the early 1970s, I've always used a combo of Leicas (21/28/35/50mm lenses) and Nikons (14/24/35/105/80-200/300,2.8/400,2.8) and in the 70's had an M2R and two M4s. I still have the M4s and lenses - all Crons except the 21/2.8 - and have used the lenses on an M8 and an M9, and they work great with the digital bodies. While the newer asph lenses are sharp (maybe even a bit sharper), they also - to me anyway -  have a lack of character and tend to flatten out perspectives for the sake of a tiny bit less distortion. I used a modern 21/2.8 asph Elmar on the M8 to get the 28mm with the M8's APS-H slightly cropped sensor, but reverted back to my older 21 for what was a much better looking rendering, imho.
 
It's a myth that the older lenses don't have enough resolution to support today's digital sensors. The equivalent resolution of good 355 film is generally accepted to be the equal of 24 megapixel sensors. Sensors have much more dynamic range than film. I also use lenses from the 70s and 80s on my new digital Nikons (7200, 750, 850) and I think they look better than the new lenses. Even my 300/2.8 is from the late 80s. Newest Nikon lens I have is the Gen1 400/2.8 from 1995. I just like the look of old glass, I guess.
Unless you're really hankering to have the auto-focus capability, and/or a 28lux, If I was in your position I'd be looking for a lightly used M240 M-P to use with the glass you already have. I bought my Q specifically for covering the presidential campaign trail the last half of 2015 through 2016, and wanted the fast AF and fast f-stop for my main around the neck camera, which has always been a Leica with a 28mm on it. I've also  found the Q to be an amazing camera for a lot of other stuff I shoot, and the focus peeking is great for manual focusing. I use it a lot for location editorial portraits with multiple strobe set ups, and for studio sessions with and without strobes.


I agree with your point about modern lenses having a somewhat flat rendering. I believe that this is the result of their being designed for wide open performance—sharpness from edge to edge and no aberrations at max aperture. The biggest culprit may be the inclusion of APO elements, which reduce chromatic aberrations at the cost of reducing the separation of fine tonal gradations. I like 3D rendering, so I avoid the current crop of uberlenses, though they do have some definite advantages.

#16 beez

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 19:53

I agree with your point about modern lenses having a somewhat flat rendering. I believe that this is the result of their being designed for wide open performance—sharpness from edge to edge and no aberrations at max aperture. The biggest culprit may be the inclusion of APO elements, which reduce chromatic aberrations at the cost of reducing the separation of fine tonal gradations. I like 3D rendering, so I avoid the current crop of uberlenses, though they do have some definite advantages.

 

I agree -  I tend to shoot between f/4 and wide open, and gladly give up a little edge and corner sharpness and some distortion to have a lens that renders in 3D. Corner and edge super sharpness matters to pixel peepers and lens evaluators, but not to me. I want my pictures to look real.  


Edited by beez, 19 March 2018 - 19:54.


#17 prk60091

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 03:25

I agree -  I tend to shoot between f/4 and wide open, and gladly give up a little edge and corner sharpness and some distortion to have a lens that renders in 3D. Corner and edge super sharpness matters to pixel peepers and lens evaluators, but not to me. I want my pictures to look real.


The Q lens is amazing— sharp and realistic images from corner to corner wide open or stopped down.

It has been my experience that leica crafts their lenses to be shot wide open. Some shots may look artistically better stopped down or wide open. There is no one size fits all. I am still learning to master this camera and lens, fortunately I have the time to do so and my livelihood does not depend on this camera.

take a peek @ my pix http://prk60091.com



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