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tap360

Buy an M8 in 2019?

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Used to have one, but progressed through the M ranks. I have not been using much so have focused budget back onto lenses (and an M4 to really get back to basics!) to minimise depreciation.  

I am considering what seems a good deal on a reasonable condition M8 (£900 including Zeiss 50 f/2) with about 6k clicks. Prefer the M8.2 and M9 to be honest, but tempted as I know all have their idiosyncrasies.

Is this just folly and I risk ending with a camera that dies and can't be mended (and dealers avoid them now it seems), or chance to get a digital M I can use happily (and not be so worried about having lots of expensive kit around my neck) and just enjoy. 

For those with current experience of an M8 and M240...does an M8 still make a good buy today, or should I hold out for a newer model.

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Posted (edited)

What’s expensive? Buying a camera you can’t sell so easily if it doesn’t meet your expectations or spending the price of an M8 more on an M9P?

I would definitely do the last but that’s the problem with budgets: if your budget is high you can buy things that are less expensive in the end and if your budget is low you often end up throwing away your money. Like with Volvo versus Fiat Punto. 

In itself I wouldn’t risk a coffee stain on an M8’s screen either. 

Edited by otto.f

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Happy with my M8 which I've owned for 3 or 4 years.

Considering that lens will fetch over £500 if in excellent condition this combination sounds rather cheap to me.

If from a dealer with warranty I'd snap their hands off - but I already own the Zeiss 50mm f2 lens, too!

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M9 has sensor issues and is dead as my local dealer says. The M8 is the first digital Leica and therefore a classic camera. I had one years ago, went on the road to M240 and bought one just for fun about a year ago. If you can live with it's limitations (dynamic range, noise, crop) it is still a fine camera. Slide film with M4 would not be better concerning dynamic and noise and one can live with crop so jump in; Planar is good too. Every electronic device can die right now like you, carpe diem!

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Thanks, not a dealer hence slight concern but feel it’s worth a punt. How do you find the lens?

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Had the Planar and enjoyed it like other Zeiss glas, only drawback is size and filter-size are larger than Leica and no 6-bit coding so I sold the Planar and the Biogons but recently grabbed a C-Sonnar. Maybe the MTF for the Planar is a little bit below the latest Summicron but you wouldn't see a difference at least on M8. Sounds cheap to me too so have a close look and ask for a guaranty.

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It's a good buy if you can get one cheap and have money (and time) set aside for repairs.

Leica can still repair them (with the exception of the LCD because parts are no longer available) but expect to pay at least the price of a good compact for even the most trivial of repairs.  

I have an M8.2 and I love it despite the fact that it needs to go in for a remap and a few other things.

I doubt M8 prices will go any lower, but it only takes one expensive repair to make depreciation irrelevant.

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Thanks, net of lens it’s about £500...seems perhaps worth a punt even though I really  prefer an M9. 240 makes most ‘sense’ but love a bargain !!

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47 minutes ago, tap360 said:

Thanks, net of lens it’s about £500...seems perhaps worth a punt even though I really  prefer an M9. 240 makes most ‘sense’ but love a bargain !!

As long as you thoroughly check it for issues because one repair and it won't be a "bargain" anymore.

If you want something reliable and more refined than the 240 is your best bet. I'd wager the 240 being the cheaper to run camera in the long run.

I have an M240 as well and I've never had any problems with it. I can't say the same about the 8s and 9s I've owned.

 

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Posted (edited)

M 240 family would be best buy now, as their prices drop and continuing to do so.

More expensive than M8/M9 (not for long compared to latter), but in use it's better camera, and if needing repair, possible for years to come (at a cost though).

I use some for years, M240 family is reliable, never had one needing for repair 😇.

We (one of my wife, one for me) do keep our M8/M9 for "light/slight use", but I mainly use M240 family (M-D, 240, 246),

 ...when I don't use film M, and even if when it was launched (early 2017 ! ), I've purchased M10.

Edited by a.noctilux

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It sounds like an excellent deal and in your place I'd definitely go for it.  In my book they're throwing the lens in for free.

I bought back into the M8 about 5 years ago after trading my first for a M9P - an excellent camera too.  I bought back in because I missed shooting infra-red handheld and because of the superb in-camera monochrome.  I think of it as my 'poor man's Monochrom'.😊

Pete.

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Just like anyone else pretty much said already, that price pretty much gets you a free lens.
I also had one, sold it back when they were going very cheap (duh!) and bought it back now that prices are almost going up again. 
As for how good it is to today's standard, it's actually as close as it gets to shooting film with a digital camera, same limits, very very similar rendition to iso 200 film, personally I love it and wouldn't shoot with anything else.
An M9 would be the best choice for someone looking for that kind of leica, but the whole sensor thing doesn't make it easy to buy, best to skip onto the M240 at that point. 
I always remind everyone of my bad experience though: bought it used from a guy, camera seemed in good condition, had a shutter failure after 3 months, sent to Leica and ended up with an M8 that costed me like an M9.
That being said, I had no dealers where I live, and I had set aside the cost of an M9 before hand, so it was a calculated risk.
At the end of the day, which company will take their 10yo+ digital camera and fix it for you today?
Bottom line, if that camera is really the camera you want to shoot with, there's nothing around like it, so you can't go wrong with your choice : )

 

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Three of the four paragraphs of your question are about the value of this particular camera. From a money perspective yes indeed it is a good purchase. You are getting a lot for your money. 

As far as image quality, the M8 is not on the page as a M240. I own both cameras and have shot lots of images with both and the results are clearly different even without pixel peeping. The M8 sensor is at best rated by the experts as poor and the software is not much better. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jeff_m said:

[...] As far as image quality, the M8 is not on the page as a M240. I own both cameras and have shot lots of images with both and the results are clearly different even without pixel peeping. The M8 sensor is at best rated by the experts as poor and the software is not much better. 

I'm no expert but i own both bodies and i could not disagree more with respect :cool:. My M8.2 has a better acutance than my M240 and its color rendition with IR-cut filters is second to none IMHO. Only problem is digital noise above 640 iso. Otherwise, put a 7art 35/2 on it and you'll get one of the best combo available irrespective of price IMHO.

Edited by lct

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6 hours ago, lct said:

I'm no expert but i own both bodies and i could not disagree more with respect :cool:. My M8.2 has a better acutance than my M240 and its color rendition with IR-cut filters is second to none IMHO. Only problem is digital noise above 640 iso. Otherwise, put a 7art 35/2 on it and you'll get one of the best combo available irrespective of price IMHO.

No offense taken. 😉

DXO Mark rates the Leica M8 as a 59. They rate a M240 as a 84. Significant difference. For comparison the current M10 is rated 86. The M240 sensor is rated basically the same as the current camera. 

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Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, jeff_m said:

[...] DXO Mark rates the Leica M8 as a 59. They rate a M240 as a 84. Significant difference. For comparison the current M10 is rated 86. The M240 sensor is rated basically the same as the current camera. 

Well i have nothing against the M240 that is my main rangefinder so far but whatever way it is rated by DxO or other experts, it suffers from oversaturated reds and the M8 has a better acutance thanks to its thinner sensor stack. Aside from digital noise, i rate my M8.2 at the highest level personally but is a matter of tastes obviously. YMMV.

Edited by lct

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The longer the DR the lesser the acutance as you go from M8 to M10. This has already been said here quite a few times: at every step from M8 to M10 you go a bit softer. This has been mixed with discussions about CCD vs. CMOS. I don’t know how this can be explained scientifically, and I don’t believe there are any other camera brands that deliver so much acutance with only 10Mp, but I do agree with lct here. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, otto.f said:

The longer the DR the lesser the acutance as you go from M8 to M10. This has already been said here quite a few times: at every step from M8 to M10 you go a bit softer. This has been mixed with discussions about CCD vs. CMOS. I don’t know how this can be explained scientifically, and I don’t believe there are any other camera brands that deliver so much acutance with only 10Mp, but I do agree with lct here. 

Quick fix in PP to adjust flatter out-of-camera files to any taste. M10 files are highly malleable, with good shooting and PP techniques.  

The M8.2 is no slouch; I owned two.  It’s also a very capable machine.  All Ms are capable of beautiful prints in an overall disciplined workflow.  The user, just as in darkroom days, is generally the limiting factor.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

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On 5/22/2019 at 8:38 AM, Graham (G4FUJ) said:

Happy with my M8 which I've owned for 3 or 4 years.

Considering that lens will fetch over £500 if in excellent condition this combination sounds rather cheap to me.

If from a dealer with warranty I'd snap their hands off - but I already own the Zeiss 50mm f2 lens, too!

I agree with you Graham, the M8 is still a good camera, I use mine as much as my M9. There’s something special about the images it produces especially in monochrome. 

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2 hours ago, Jeff S said:

Quick fix in PP to adjust flatter out-of-camera files to any taste.

To a degree I agree with you, Jeff, but while contrast can be adjusted, acutance can't because it's 'baked in'.  For example, increasing contrast will emphasise the light/dark transitions by making them starker but it can't improve the genuine resolution delivered by high acutance.

Pete.

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