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some question for M8

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... I'm not convinced about "cheaper" either when film, development, and printing costs are included.  But please please please let's not slide into the inevitable film versus digital debate.

 

Pete.

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Hello All. I have questions about the M8 and the M8.2

 

First, I am considering selling my MP-2. However, have good Leica lenses (35 and 28) and I would like a confirmation: this same glass can be used on the M8?

 

Or, has Leica made new lenses for use with digital?

 

Second question: Most say that the M8 is a great dedicated B&W rig. And most shoot it in B&W mode. That is how I would use it.

 

Is the M8.2 essentially the same? With the same characteristics so desired in the M8? Or, is it a different camera (different sensor)?

 

I did try to read through the forum to find answers to these questions and did not see any direct answers. I apologize if these questions have been asked and answered in other threads.

 

Sincere regards,

 

-- Lyle

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Yes, you can use the same lenses without restriction. Bear in mind, however, that they will be cropped by 1.3x

Furthermore, if you want to use colour, they must be used with an IR cut filter.

It may be that your lenses need to be recalibrated for use on a sensor, Leica will do this at the same time that you have them coded (highly recommended if not essential for wideangle lenses on the M8)

 

B&W is excellent out of the M8, however it is excellent out of other digital M cameras as well. Personally I prefer converting in the computer instead of using out-of-camera JPGs. The quality is simply better and you have control over the tonality.

 

There is little difference between the M8 and M8.2, the most important being a quieter, albeit slower (1/4000 vs 1/8000) shutter.

 

In general I would advise you to look for an M9, with a replaced sensor. That is full-frame with fewer IR problems.

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jaapv writes: "In general I would advise you to look for an M9, with a replaced sensor. That is full-frame with fewer IR problems."

 

Thanks much for your reply. I would ask for a clarification on this:

 

1) I thought the M8 had some *special* qualities that made it desirable, especially for those willing to shoot B&W (to dedicate the camera to that use given the IR issues). Does the M9 have the same sensor? And does it function similarly to the M8 in most or all respects?

 

2) It sounds like you are saying that the 9 is an *improvement* on the 8 but is substantially the same

 

"Bear in mind, however, that they will be cropped by 1.3x"

 

I am unsure what this means...

 

3) If I use an old 28mm Leica lens on the M8 or M9, essentially you are saying that the 28 will shoot (ie produce images) at about the same angle as the 35mm on a non-digital Leica?

 

And the 35 will shoot something approximating a 40mm? (if such existed).

 

Do I understand right?

 

"B&W is excellent out of the M8, however it is excellent out of other digital M cameras as well."

 

I shoot an Olympus OMD-Mark 2 and use old 'cine' lenses mostly. I like it and have no problem with it. And I shoot 99% in color (a big change for me). 

 

My old M4-P, which I just serviced, sits unused and I don't think I have the energy to set up a darkroom again. I used it strictly for B&W work.

 

I might shoot film and scan it ... but what would I gain?

 

Therefor, I am thinking of abandoning the M4, but keeping the lenses, and getting a Leica digital. 

 

I would likely use the M8 (or M9) strictly for B&W work, because with the M4 that is really all I shot (B&W).

 

But if someone said: Get an M9 because you could get the same result in B&W and you could also shoot color with no problem, I would likely pay attention!

 

"In general I would advise you to look for an M9, with a replaced sensor. That is full-frame with fewer IR problems."

 

4) Replaced sensor? You mean the one that comes with it should be replaced?

 

I appreciate your help in getting this all straight!

 

Sincere regards,

 

-- Lyle

Edited by LyleBright

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M8 vs M9 is a matter of tastes, format and filters mainly. I prefer the image quality of my M8.2 over that of my M240 for instance, let alone the inferior (to me) M9's but some photogs much prefer the latter so this is subjective obviously. Otherwise M8 and M8.2 are APS-H cameras with a smaller sensor than that of the M9. 35mm lenses on the M8 behave like 50mm ones on the M9 more or less. As for filters, IR-cut filters (called "UV/IR" by Leica) are mandatory on M8 and M8.2 bodies for accurate color rendition.

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Lyle,

 

I will try to answer on behalf of Jaap but I am happy for him to further elucidate or contradict should he wish.

 

1) The M8 has the Kodak KAF10500 CCD sensor, which measures 23mm x 15mm and the M9 has the Kodak KAF18500 sensor, which measures 36mm x 24mm and is the same size as 135 film.  The KAF10500 and KAF18500 are essentially the same sensor except the KAF18500 is physically larger and incorporates a more effective infrared-blocking filter.  The b&w pictures straight from the M8 cameras are said by some to have a 'special' look although this is subjective and might be a consequence of having a weaker infrared-blocking filter.

 

2) Both are very good sensors although both are CCD (CCD = Charge-Coupled Devices) rather than most sensors nowadays, which are CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Silicon).  I recommend Googling those terms to give you an idea of the difference.

 

3) "Cropped by 1.3x is used as a calculation or measure to help comprehend the relative size of a sensor and the effect it has on the focal length of lenses.  It's often referred to as "crop factor" and relates the size of the sensor to a 'full frame' sensor that's the same size as 135 film, ie 36mm x 24mm.  If a lens has a crop factor of, say, 1.3x then it means that you need to multiply the focal length by 1.3 to understand the equivalent angle of view your lens will shot on a cropped sensor.  So, for example a 24mm lens will show an equivalent field of view as a 24 x 1.3 = 32 mm lens, a 50 mm lens will show an equivalent field of view as a 67 mm lens and so on.  What this means in reality is that if you enjoy taking pictures with a wide angle lens it will not show as wide a picture on a cropped sensor camera and longer focal lenses will have a longer effective focal length.

 

I hope this helps,

Pete.

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3) If I use an old 28mm Leica lens on the M8 or M9, essentially you are saying that the 28 will shoot (ie produce images) at about the same angle as the 35mm on a non-digital Leica?

 

And the 35 will shoot something approximating a 40mm? (if such existed).

 

 

 

If you use any 28mm lens on a  M8 (or M8.2) you will produce images at the same angle as the 35mm on ANY Leica M, digital or not : M8/8.2 has been the only M Leica with a non 24x36mm sensor. M9 is 24x36.

A photo taken with a 35mm will have the angle of taking of a 45 mm on 24x36 camera, etc...

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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Thanks for these responses. 

 

That is a curious issue: the small sensor on the M8. It immediately inclines me to the M9. Simply because the larger sensor will take my 28, 35 and 50mm lenses.

 

Otherwise, and as I intend to sell my M4-P, it would make more sense to sell the lenses too...

 

Question: given that the 8 has a small sensor, what are the highly recommended (and non-Leica lenses) that photographers recommend to use on it?

 

What I mean is if one desires the same wide angle as, say, a 28mm or a 35mm? I am not sure if what I am asking makes sense. 

 

If I were to go with the M8 but desired a focal length that would work with the small sensor that is equal to a 35mm focal length, what non-Leica lens is recommended?

 

Again, thank you all for your kind assistance. 

 

So far I will restate one important fact:

 

If I put my 35mm Leica lens on an M9 it will reproduce just the same field of view as a 35mm negative... because it has a sensor the size of the 35mm film (36mm x 24mm)

 

If I use the same 35mm lens on the M8 it will *convert* it, more or less, to a 45mm?

Edited by LyleBright

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I am quite puzzled by the expression "take my lenses". Why shouldn't the M8 not do so? In fact, they will perform better than on full frame as you will be using the sweet spot.

The size of the sensor does not change anything on the lens, it just crops the image you record.

 

It is not a small sensor, it is the closest to full frame you can get.  You use your lenses like before, and for convenience you calculate the angle of view as follows . 28=35, 35=50 Not quite exact, but close enough.

 

Why should you use a non-Leica lens if you have got perfectly good ones Leica ones that you are happy with? For the record: Both Zeiss and Voigtländer make good lenses too. Designed for full-frame as well as Leica, BTW.

 

And...

 

Buy an M9. You will have the same sensor as the M8, only larger and with fewer IR problems. The B&W will look virtually the same.

 

The only caveat - the original M9 sensor had corrosion problems. Leica has replaced those recently by corrosion-free ones. get a camera with a new corrosion-free sensor. that means buying from a trusted dealer.

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"I am quite puzzled by the expression "take my lenses". Why shouldn't the M8 not do so? In fact, they will perform better than on full frame as you will be using the sweet spot."

 

I began using an Olympus PEN M43 body some years back. I bought adaptors to use my Leica lenses on this camera (and another adaptor for my Nikon lenses). 

 

They all worked, although the camera did what the M8 would do. Used a portion, but not all, the lens was providing. Thus (as you know) a 28mm became a 55mm-60mm and so on and so forth.

 

I lost the feeling and the charm of shooting my 35mm Leica lens on the M4-P. Might have been *irrational* but there you have it. 

 

So, when you said that the M9, with the larger sensor, would function the same as with the M4-P (35x24 mm sensor), I used the phrase 'take my lenses' as they were manufactured to be used. 

 

"In fact, they will perform better than on full frame as you will be using the sweet spot."

 

You bring up an interesting point though. I wonder if this is some part of the reason M8 shooters rave about their images? Because they are working (more) in that sweet spot?

 

-- Lyle

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