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I want to buy a M8: Any tips?

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Hi all, 

I decided to buy an old M8 as my first digital Leica. :)

I want the CCD sensor, I considered also to get an M9, but basically for b&w photography, I see not so much advantage to pay more than double for the M9 with the sensor changed already. And I may make use of the M8 for IR stuff.

There is one in my town with 11.000 shutter counts for 1000EUR with 2 lenses (7 artisans 50mm f1.1 and Voigtlander 25mm f4, that brings the body down to 500EUR, almost too cheap) and another one with 3200 shutter counts for 1200EUR with one lens (Voigtlander 35mm f2.5 Skopar, which brings down the body to 900EUR let's say). Both are quite low counts, but I see that people have experienced shutter issues with shutter counts as low as 15.000. Considering that people don't report issues unless they have them, I would suppose that the one with 11.000 shutter count should have pretty much life left, I see many people use their M8 with over 100.000 count without issues.  Am I correct or should I pay 300-400EUR more for the one with 3200 counts? 

 

And anything else I should be aware of or be careful when buying an old M8?

 

Thanks for your advice!

 

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Posted (edited)

Welcome,

As old M8+IR pix lover (still use sometimes), I only have to say, the filter diameter is one of consideration.

I can't use most of my lenses for M8+IR pix because I have very limited IR pass filter (only in E39, E52 ), I can usestep-un /down rings but not practical at all.

Shutter count can be in equation but (for me of course) every M8 can have shutter fault and this change it to "no-camera" for repair cost (about 1.000€).

https://www.olegkikin.com/shutterlife/leica_m8.htm

 

have a look in this thread

my comment #9

Sorry not to be able helping in your choice.

Edited by a.noctilux

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Sounds pretty cheap to me. I would not let go my beloved M8.2 at this price level even though  I nowadays only rarely use it due to my M10. It is still a wonderful camera.

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I would want to find out more about both these M8s before proceeding any further. Are they one owner cameras? Have they been well looked after? Do they come with all the bits in the box as supplied new? Have either had any issues eg shutter replacement? Assuming they are private sales there will be no warranty of course, but have you at least got a return option if not satisfied?

The more expensive camera sounds better to me, in part due to lower use but also because I would prefer the 35mm Skopar as a lens to use.

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Posted (edited)

The M8 is a very durable camera. What I heard from a dealer, the display is a problem when it is no longer working. My M8 is still working fine. It actually survived my MM that I bought new and that died of lens cancer. I bought the M8 secondhand, though :)

Edited by Arrow

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Posted (edited)

As James24 says what do the cameras come with in terms of original accessories / straps / chargers / batteries / instruction manuals / boxes etc?

What are their respective general conditions, roughly? How clean are the sensors and are there any scratches to be seen? Check carefully!

Are they both M8s or is either an M8.2? The latter carries a price-premium and is more sought-after for quite a number of reasons.

Allowing for the 1.33 crop factor the first has (effectively) a 65mm and a 35mm whereas the second has (effectively) a 50mm. A word of warning; The 7A 50 f1.1 is a great lens(*) but only if it is well-matched to the body at both close- and far-focus and at all apertures in both situations!  I would strongly advise checking-out these capabilities as the 7A can be an absolute nightmare to calibrate; I own a pair of them myself and I speak from my own well-won experience.

It might also be the case that the body has been matched to this lens; it is vital that you check out both lenses with this package! Get a 'returns' agreement should you have concerns in the 'focus' department.

Apart from that? With the M8 some bodies had a problem with the rear screen not displaying properly / at all. Easy to check.

With Leica 'Condition is All' is a fair maxim. If the body is in good condition it will be worth considerably more and might have been treated better by its former owner/s. Originality is also worth a premium over a 'modified' body - even if it's just the substitution of the red dot for an aftermarket black one.

Take your time in assessing the offered cameras on their individual merits. Do not rush in to things.

The 8 is a great body. I picked up an M8.2 as my first digi-M and absolutely loved it.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Philip.

Edited by pippy

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You need to check the rear LCD for 'coffee stain', which just looks as though coffee has been poured on the LCD and left a stain around the edges but is actually very fine dust that has made its way between the LCD and the covering glass and indicates a sealing problem.  Sometimes the LCD goes on to fail completely and then your M8 is a brick because there are no spare LCD's available for repairs or swap-outs.  You're M8 will still function without the LCD but you won't be able to see the menus so, for example, formatting the SD card, changing ISO, and changing from DNG to jpg capture will be difficult.

Sometimes coffee stain just disappears over time and the LCD appears as it always has so if either of the cameras has coffee stain you need to consider whether it's worth the risk or whether to pass and look for another. 

Pete.

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My M8 has 60k actuations and still going strong. Great camera and good intro to M system. I would go for the less expensive one and save that money for a lens.

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Posted (edited)

Ask for some shoots of high ISO. Check for dead, stuck pixels which also known to cos vertical line/s. Also check alignment, is a 10+ year old range finder after all. Both can be fixed but is added cost and time. I personally look for a later production year (2008) too as you never know what little internal components/tolerance improvements made against early ones.

Look beyond the milage, i.e I can't stand having a scratched up display, condition, fullset with box etc which will impact it's resale value when you come to re sell.

Serial numbers - https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/M8

Edited by Gavbo
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Assuming everything works as it should they are both very good deals even if the cosmetics aren't 100%. I'd buy the first one in a heartbeat assuming that you want a shooter.

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I missed a couple at dealers, and bought one with a hope and a prayer on E**y, came with a 1/2 case and a 40mm f 1.4 Nokton, which is a little bit of an annoying lens on this camera (activates the 50mm framelines which are small on an M8 and has a slight focus shift between f2.8 and f4). It also looks like that was the only lens on the camera as the frameline lever was stiff. The one other problem with the M8 is it has to go to Leica for repairs, even for a stiff frameline lever, this is according to Youxin Yee and DAG. But the camera has been working flawlessly, I have been using a 35 Summilux and a 25mm Canon on it mostly, the frameline lever is working itself out. I have used the 40 sparingly, mostly on an M3. Oh the other interesting thing about the camera is that it was purchased in Mexico, so the manual is in Italian and Spanish.

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