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dougdarter

Are they really that bad?? Please let us know.

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Hi Doug

 

I got mine - a silver-chrome ex-demonstrator - at a £300 discount from Cambrian Photography on 14 April and have used it extensively since then with no 'issues'. For jobs where I know ahead of time which lenses I will need it is a lovely camera to use - every bit as delightful to handle as the 1960 M2 I used in my youth. My favourite lenses are the CV 28s and the CV 15, all of which have had Milich adapters and IR filters applied on a 'fit and forget' basis. A lot of my photography is for publication (I edit a railway preservation society magazine) and the files from the M8 give perfect results when converted to CMYK for printing.

 

I do have an R8+DMR with 21-35, 28-90 and 70-210 zooms, but it generally serves as 'backup' to the M8 and tends to get used in situations where I know that I may want to vary focal lengths a great deal from shot to shot - or for the really long stuff.

 

Frankly, I find quite a lot of the whingeing about the M8 to be rather nit-picking - especially the complaints about the use of IR filters and coding. Frankly I find the IR filter requirement less of a problem than the need to use contrast filters with black and white film, and the need for lens coding with wide angle lenses is a minor inconvenience at most. The 'flakiness' of the AWB is also a non-issue for me - it's easy enough to correct white balance in Lightroom or C1 and there's no bu****ing about with correction filters for critical work as there is with film.

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I've had mine since February and so far have been entirely impressed. I had used an M6 since my early days in photography in the late 90s and had been eagerly awaiting a digital M. The M8 has met all my expectations. I had been using Nikon DSLRs for professional work since 2003 and the M6 for personal work. Now the Nikon is gathering dust in its bad in my closet. Are there things I'd like improved on the M8? Yes, but not one of them is a deal-breaker for me. I can't imagine using anything else currently on the market. Well, that's my contribution to the M8 lovefest...

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Doug,

I couldn't disagree with you more. If your view of a forum is a place for us to congratulate each other on how smart we were to buy an M8 and how great a camera it is, it is far from my view. I view a forum as a means to first, try and encourage the manufacturer to improve on their product, second, exchange helpful information on work-arounds to problems or solutions where they exist but are not widely known and third to make others aware of potential problems and causes when known to help avoid pitfalls. Finally, it is a great place to get to know fellow photographers and get helpful advice on how to better use the camera and tools to get the best results.

 

If one points out flaws and suggestions for Leica to fix these flaws it is NOT whining or putting down the camera. If one complains when one has a difficult time getting a problem fixed it is a legitimate complaint and informative when a resolution is finally put forth. Personally, I don't need a cheerleading group to affirm my purchase. I think it is a very good camera that could be made much better, especially at its price point. I don't think there is a better camera on the market today but the world doesn't stand still.

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Hello Doug

There are two answers to your post from my perspective.

First I am delighted with the camera and lenses and hardly ever use my M6.If you are new to digital photography workflow you do need to work at it to get the best results.There have been a few issues with the camera but they are gradually getting solved.

Second. I find the forum a great source of information with a lot of contribution for very serious people .Yes some of the threads are less than useful to some people so just ignore then.I have found that there is a few guys who are only too willing to give good advice in a friendly and entertaining way.I would definitly stay with the forum and would just like to say .Thanks very much to Sean/Steve/Jamie/Mark/Joe /Jack and several more.

Brian

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Doug,

 

I think it might be fair to say that a lot of us love our M8's in spite of much frustration, iffy final adjustment, outright failures, etc. It says I think, that the concept is 100% correct but the execution - well lets be kind and say it is "work in progress". After a day like I have had today with my M8 - 2 hours to clean the sensor, with multiple lock-ups, I have had to put it away and hope that tomorrow will be better - it usually is, as the M8 seems to cure itself overnight. This forum has been of immense help in overcoming and find work-arounds for some of the problems and limitations of the M8 and not least sympathy, when all is going wrong. Notwithstanding all of the foregoing, I am enjoying using my M8 more than any other camera for the last 20+ years.

 

Wilson

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It's a forum. People post problems. Some are looking for an answer, some are just venting, and of course there's the occasional troll. But if you read between the lines I think you'll see that there are more people here who are happy with their M8 and more than happy to help others with their problems than otherwise. I have learned a heck of a lot here, and in general the forum has enhanced my M8 experience.

 

I think we have a great camera (with a few minor teething problems) and a great forum populated for the most part by knowledgeable and helpful folk.

 

Stick around and give us a chance.

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Had my first M8 from late January 2007 to about the end of May, 5 months, and it had NO electronic problems or failures. I sent it in for other physical reasons and Leica NJ replaced it with a NEW one. Bought my second body about 3 days before the replacement came back to me. I've taken about 6-7 thousand shots between the 3 of them with NO electronic problems. I do have a glare in the rangefinder of the second bought unit and it will be going back to Leica NJ when I have the time, and inclination, to box it up and send it off. I also had a slight back focus problem with that body and found the rangefinder was off at infinity. I did that adjustment myself with the help of this forum.

 

All in all I could not be happier. I now have cameras and lenses I've always lusted for since I owned my first M3, that was back in 1973.

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Every camera I have ever had in the last 30 years has displayed problems, gripes and irritations. Including the M8. However, and this is important to me, the M8 displays fewer than just about every other camera I have used for the sort of photographs I like to take and make. I like it a lot. It works for me and the work I want to do with it. I enjoy using it and I love the image quality.

 

I'm also getting despondent at the number of M8 bashers out there, but this applies to every other camera out there judging by other communities. Of course there are still irritations or even problems with this piece of technology. Show me one piece of innovation that was perfect in its first incarnation? Or ever? But to me the irritation quotient has dropped significantly, even compared to previously used cameras.

 

To elaborate...

 

AWB is intermittent in its accuracy. My 5D was not always perfect either. So I now use a grey card or Expodisc to set it. Now its predictable and easily adjustable in the RAW I always use. Not a problem (to me) any more.

 

Filters. I've used filters on just about every camera I've ever used to tweak or "adjust" lighting. I used to carry around a set of filters for previous DSLRs. The M8 is better (to me) in that I no longer bother with anything but the IR filter on each lens I have. Anything else I do in software - but I should add this is now very rare as I try hard to fix the image in camera whenever I can. The apparently high dynamic range in the M8 helps here.

 

Cost. Quality is always expensive. Leica glass is sublime and beats just about anything I have used in the past. Yes it's expensive, but Canon L lenses are not exactly cheap and I use fewer lenses with the M8 so actually the cost is equivalent or even less. My legs are a great zoom facility and have the advantage of helping exercise. Alternative lenses also exist, are very very good and significantly less expensive than Leica.

 

Weight and bulk. Ummm... Did I ever mention the Rolleiflex or Hasselblad or Canon bodies and 4 - 5 lenses. No comparison.

 

Mucky sensor. Out of the box this is rather tatty. But I've cleaned this and regularly blow into the camera with a rocket blower and now have almost no dust spotting to do. This has been a problem for years with any camera - ever been frustrated scanning films? DSLRs are also a pain. There's really no big difference between the M8 and anything else.

 

I could go on but wont. Its a nice camera and system to use. It works really well for me and I like it.

 

Pete

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I concur with the sentiments on this thread; great camera (had no problems), lovely lens'.

 

The forum has been very informative regarding problems, issues and solutions. I'm appreciative of the input from those that contribute. One evaluates comments on there individual merits and learn pretty quickly what to take with a grain of salt. Worth keeping the book mark.

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Guest tummydoc
Hi,

 

I've only been a member a day or so, and already I'm thinking about deleting this forum from my favourites:(

 

Why??

 

The continual and incessant 'trashing' of the M8, for whatever reason. It's pretty dispiriting, especially when I have nothing but praise for mine.

 

Let's see...because you have 'nothing but praise' for the M8, you find it 'dispiriting' to read a forum that does not have 'nothing but praise' for the M8. Perhaps you would be best to delete yourself in that case. Fortunately there've been some selfless and ingenious people on this forum who rather than bury their heads in the sands of denial and declare the M8 perfect, have acknowledged the faults and failures and the right of M8 owners to discuss them, and then these fellows spent a great deal of time and effort helping the rest of us solve many of these problem issues. I for one am grateful that this forum hasn't bowed to the rooing of apologists and devolved into an M8 Kumbaya singalong.

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Doug,

I couldn't disagree with you more. If your view of a forum is a place for us to congratulate each other on how smart we were to buy an M8 and how great a camera it is, it is far from my view. I view a forum as a means to first, try and encourage the manufacturer to improve on their product, second, exchange helpful information on work-arounds to problems or solutions where they exist but are not widely known and third to make others aware of potential problems and causes when known to help avoid pitfalls. Finally, it is a great place to get to know fellow photographers and get helpful advice on how to better use the camera and tools to get the best results.

 

If one points out flaws and suggestions for Leica to fix these flaws it is NOT whining or putting down the camera. If one complains when one has a difficult time getting a problem fixed it is a legitimate complaint and informative when a resolution is finally put forth. Personally, I don't need a cheerleading group to affirm my purchase. I think it is a very good camera that could be made much better, especially at its price point. I don't think there is a better camera on the market today but the world doesn't stand still.

 

Hi,

 

I can see exactly where you are coming from, and I don't disagree, but nowhere in my original post did I want anybody to say how great the M8 was, and I certainly didn't wan't to inflate my ego in any way or form, or indulge in any kind of self congratulations, which is what you seem to imply. I am a 55 year old 'tog, who has been using a Leica for many, many years. I don't need to be told how good these cameras are - I already know.

 

I simply wanted to redress the balance. The M8, at least it seems to me, has received a lot of critiscism on this forum, whether the critiscism is justified or not is not the issue, I was merely interested to see if other users, like me, were satisfied with how the camera works for them. I am curious by nature, and I needed to scratch this particular itch.

 

A forum such as this, is surely the place to ask such questions?? If it is not, then I am labouring under a missaprehension.

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A lot of people have needed the help of others – often more informed others – with this camera. That's certainly been my experience. My M8 now works wonderfully, albeit with the one lens I own; but that wasn't the case to start with and I'm concerned it may not be the case when I add another lens. People on the forum have been hugely helpful in addressing my concerns and, if nothing else, giving me a sense of solidarity! So I'd stick with the forum: some of the negative posts are more in the spirit of hoping for assistance and looking for sympathy than just trashing the camera.

 

I actually like the camera so much that I now want to buy a 50mm Summilux for it. But of course I can't; that would be way too easy. I have to join a waiting list.

 

But at least now I'm starting to realise that this is all part of the Leica Experience...

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"Many a man who falls in love with a dimple make the mistake of marrying the whole girl."

Evan Esar

 

This is not the case with the M8. Here we marry the whole of the camera including the whole of the available kit.

 

We are tolerant of the occasional pimple or tantrum.

 

We seek help amongst the brother(sister)hood for counsil and advice.

 

We pray facing Solms when any actual reality differs from the perfection that we see in our mind's eye.

 

This way we stay very happy, but occasionaly we shake our fists at the(its) creator.

-bob

 

 

sorry for the somewhat unconventional phrasing.

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I have two. After the fixes, this is a superb camera. And I have 8 film cameras and a medium format digital as well, each has their strengths. I love this camera.

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I don't know whether the M8 is perfect - all I can say is that I have used a 35mm camera and had a darkroom since 1946, had a IIc in '49, have owned or used almost every kind of 35mm camera since, digital for over ten years, and I have never had a camera which gives images that compares to the M8 (and that included the 'blad). My D200 has not been touched since I first opened the M8 box and it is a joy to return to Leica glass.

 

When I remember how difficult it was to get even a 12x16 print in 35mm, how colour balance was the bane of the darkroom and how this digital M has freed us from technology and enabled us to concentrate on the image, I am very grateful to those at Solms for surviving to this century.

 

Of course I would like a software upgrade (due shortly?) and the UV/IR Cut filter is a nuisance - until I remember that in the days of film I always used to use a UV filter anyway - but all the niggles fade away when I see the results.

 

David

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The thing is, that as an newbie user (got my M8 just a couple of weeks ago), these remarks about back focus, software, etc. can be very scary! It takes a couple of weeks more to get over it and recognize that overall it is a superb product and as such the SMALL things pop up fairly big.

 

Now contemplating to buy another lens (got a 50mm Summicron) ... how to explain to my wife that NO we are not going to buy her a new car and yes I very much NEED this wide angle lens.

 

happy man, me, with problems like this ...

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Hi there

I got one of the first batch in the UK (last November). It went back to Solms for the update in January, when it got back . . . . I sold all my Nikon gear and bought a second body.

 

Sure there are idiosyncracies, and the filter issue is a bit irritating, but virtually every digital camera I've owned has had issues which are just as serious. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of shots I've had ruined because of the camera (and that's out of 15,000 or so!).

 

I think it's a great camera -

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I too tire of the trolls, I've had my M8 since November and with the odd (max 3) lockup I've had very little trouble with the camera it's self. The lockup is usually fixed by removing the battery and the camera returns to normal function. I bought the camera in the full knowledge of the issues regarding IR, whitebal, banding, shutter noise and so on. I'm glad to say with the provided fixes and with the exception of the whitebal the camera preforms as/ better than expected. I have noticed morie in very fine detail patterns but in general it's not such an issue. Focus/backfocus has not been an issue except for one specific lens (Noctilux) and Leica are dealing with this currently.

 

All in all it has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride for the past 10 months but then I enjoy using the camera and all seems irrelevant now looking back somewhat sweetened with the 30% lens & filters. Leica's marketing need to learn by their mistakes but in general any dealings I've had with individuals in Solms they have always been very helpful and seem to have my best interest at heart.

 

I won't even get into the whole film/digital argument as my chosen medium has been 100% digital for some time now. As for Black & White v's Monochrome I've come to the conclusion that no matter what medium one uses the only important factor is the image content.

 

At this point in time I don't ever foresee my return to the larger dSLR's I've used in the past. the M8 with 2/3 good lenses is all I need for my personal requirements.

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As one who has been fighting this battle from the very start - It is tiring, but the camera is worth the support of its users. I'm glad to see more and more realistic and happy posters joining the ranks.

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