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MikeMyers

Updated thoughts on M8.2

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I bought my M8.2 about ten years ago, and decided to keep it, rather than trade it in on the M9 when that came out.  I didn't see a smaller sensor as a problem, as so many of my other cameras have small sensors.

 

I figured a lot of things out long ago, and tried to use the camera like I did in the 1960's, with my M2.  I got most things working, but was never really satisfied with shooting with the Leica.  My updated Nikon purchases every year were better suited for sports photography, and thinking back on it, I wasn't even using the Leica properly.  So, it mostly sat in a safe for the past eight years or so, other than times when I got it out, bought Voigtlander lenses, and still felt I did better with my Nikons.

 

Then I bought a Fuji X100, then X100s, and decided it was having a Leica on steroids.  I was, and am, very happy with the Fuji.  Actually, it was too easy.  It did all the work, all I had to do was aim it.  It wasn't as satisfying as years ago with my Leica cameras.

 

A few weeks ago, I decided I'd give the M8 another try.  The best way I know to learn, is to leave all my other cameras alone, and start using only the Leica - along with watching dozens of YouTube videos.

 

In addition to my three film Leica and lenses for those cameras, I have two newer lenses from Leica (35mm and 50mm), and a 90mm Summicron, which needs a repair, and which is not really suitable for anything I plan to do with the Leica yet....    and two Voigtlander lenses I bought from Camera Quest, a 24mm lens, and an ultra-wide angle lens with viewfinder.  I decided the 50mm Sumicron would be around 80mm, so it went back in my drawer, along with all my other lenses except my 35mm Summilux .  I decided that will be my lens for the near future.

 

First problem, none of my photos was really sharp.  I asked someone about this at a Leica booth at B&H Photo many years ago, and was told the front of the lens was loose.  Nobody I know is qualified to work on it, so it has been sitting for years.  This time I looked it over closely, and found three microscopic screws around the outside of the lens.  I slowly and evenly tightened them, and now the lens is fixed - as I found out today, wandering around with the camera, the images are all crisp and clear - I have no complaints.

 

One of the photos I took had yellow grass - I guess I need to buy the filter to correct that, but for most of my photos, everything was fine.  I need to find out what filter I have to buy to fix this.

 

Using the camera:

Being an idiot, I read somewhere that using the automatic controls was not a good idea, so I've been selecting aperture or shutter speed, then watching the red arrows and red dot under the image to get the right exposure for as long as I've had the camera.  After spending the past few days at this (I'm slow) I found out how to set the shutter speed dial to "A", use auto-ISO, and the camera selected an ISO and displayed the shutter speed it wanted to use instead of the arrows and dots.  I wish I knew this ten years ago.  Oh well.

 

 

I've been watching all the videos about whether the M8 is still useful in today's world (in my opinion, absolutely YES).  I've also been watching the videos on zone focusing, candid photography, street photography, and so on....      I used to do that a lifetime ago with my M2, M3, and Nikon SP, but I've lost my edge because all my newer cameras have adjusted the settings and taken the photo before I can even start to figure out what I should do on the Leica.  With the M8.2 today, once I learned to trust it, I just did "aim and shoot" much of the time.  Aperture was set to f/11 and 90% of my images were fine.  The camera picked whatever shutter speed it wanted, and presumably the ISO.  I need to review what settings it selected.

 

 

Changes I need to make....    

to me, the camera was very uncomfortable to hold in my hand for "grab shots".  It's fine for two hands, but not one hand.  I will order one of those thumb grips tomorrow.  I already have one on my Fuji X100s, and it made a world of difference.

 

Recording mode - having used JPG, then DNG+JPG, I gave up on all of that and now just set the camera to DNG.  The images go into Lightroom on my computer, and it all works fine.  Supposedly - not sure about this yet - but I bought one of the iPhone lightning-port to SD-card adapters, and I was told that with the latest operating system on my iPhone X, I can import the DNG images directly into the phone.  Maybe tomorrow I will try that.

 

 

More later - I feel like I'm just now discovering how wonderful a camera the M8.2 is.   The M10 might be better, but that's $8,000 or so.  I'm not convinced yet that the photos I take would be any better.

 

 

Edited by MikeMyers

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