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fursan

Is it too much to ask? ( long rant )

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Guest tummydoc

Curious that some photographers are out there making outstanding images with an M8 whilst others are frustrated and stuck in-doors fiddling with focussing tests, and ranting on the internet. If the M8 was an inherently poor design, or there was an inherent incompatibilty with the abundance of Leica lenses, one would think by now the second-hand market would be flooded with them at fire-sale prices and the lights would've gone out on this forum.

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Curious that some photographers are out there making outstanding images with an M8 whilst others are frustrated and stuck in-doors fiddling with focussing tests, and ranting on the internet. If the M8 was an inherently poor design, or there was an inherent incompatibilty with the abundance of Leica lenses, one would think by now the second-hand market would be flooded with them at fire-sale prices and the lights would've gone out on this forum.

 

The reliability issues with the camera and the issues with lenses are happening to lot's of photographers who are making outstanding images. Why continue to use the M8? Perhaps you could recommend a better digital rangefinder?

 

If I'd heard of all the problems I heard about the M8 before I bought it and it was a DSLR I would have just chosen another camera from the 100 or so there are to choose from. If the Leica M is your ieal you have a choice of exactly one from which to choose in the digital realm.

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I can't say I make outstanding images Tummydoc (I'll leave that judgement to others LOL), but have enjoyed working with the M8 tremendously so far. That I experienced a number of issues with either the camera and the lenses, is another real world experience, at least for me.

 

The thought of leaving the M8 in favor for any DSLR (still some Canon in the house) did occur once or twice. But we all have our weak moments.

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Guest tummydoc
The reliability issues with the camera and the issues with lenses are happening to lot's of photographers who are making outstanding images. Why continue to use the M8? Perhaps you could recommend a better digital rangefinder?

 

If I'd heard of all the problems I heard about the M8 before I bought it and it was a DSLR I would have just chosen another camera from the 100 or so there are to choose from. If the Leica M is your ieal you have a choice of exactly one from which to choose in the digital realm.

 

Ah, so your assertion is that the only reason Leica have sold tens of thousands of them is because there are tens of thousands of people whose psychological profile includes both an obsessive-compulsive need to use a rangefinder, and the masochism to endure a fundamentally-flawed camera. I'm insulted.....but unable to disprove your assertion

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Ah, so your assertion is that the only reason Leica have sold tens of thousands of them is because there are tens of thousands of people whose psychological profile includes both an obsessive-compulsive need to use a rangefinder, and the masochism to endure a fundamentally-flawed camera. I'm insulted.....but unable to disprove your assertion

 

You are greatly exaggerating the situation. To describe a preference for working with a rangefinder as obsessive-compulsive is your absurd characterization not mine. Calling the camera 'fundamentaly flawed' is also an over the top statement made by you for dramatic flair I suppose. The fact that the camera has had a more then average number of problems seems to be a fair statement -fundamentally flawed- I don't think so. It's actually a great camera to use and many have not had problems.

 

I have not had any problems (knock on wood) with the M8 itself but many experienced users who have never photographed a ruler have. I have gotten a new lens way out of calibration as have others. Not quite enough problems to make me use a DSLR but something that Leica needs to address.

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Guest guy_mancuso

I don't want to get into the focusing issues but i think many folks don't realize there holding a 20 year lens in there hand and expect it to focus correctly when this lens may never have seen a a CLA in it's lifetime. When I owned Hassy gear it went annually in for CLA to keep the lenses tuned and working, nothing different with any other lens system and Leica with all that precision going on inside and major mechnical parts and gearing needs the same CLA. Folks your expecting your car to run without grease and a oil change. Think the same for your lenses, they need TLC also. Yes some are out and need adjustment out of the box but the human element comes into play also on ALL levels from user to the OEM. I just got a 35 cron version IV and the focusing is stiff and maybe was made in the late 70 or early 80's and there is no question in my mind it never seen a worksbench. It focuses great but still needs a CLA on it. Most Leica lenses are most likely in that same category of being 20 years old and never seen a work bench. Something to think about

 

CLA = Clean , Lube and Adjust

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It focuses great but still needs a CLA on it. Most Leica lenses are most likely in that same category of being 20 years old and never seen a work bench. Something to think about

 

CLA = Clean , Lube and Adjust

 

I never expect a used lens to focus properly without adjustment, not because of any fault of Leica but for the reasons you mention. New -that's another story.

 

On a side note: I just got a 50 year old Summaron 35/3.5 it works and looks like it came out of the factory perfectly adjusted this morning. Amazing, but you can not expect that of lenses that have been used for decades as a rule.

 

You have to sort out the unreasonable expectations of those who think that they should be able to mount a dozen 30 year old lenses that have never been serviced and expect everything to work perfectly from those who have purchased new lens that are mis-calibrated out of the box or discover that focus shift might be more of an issue with digital then film.

 

It's the first digital M. It's great that such a small market segment should be getting a digital solution geared to a method of working which has not been mainstream for 40 years but there are always kinks to work out in anything so new.

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what you say makes a lot of sense. i am a new comer to rf. all my lenses were

bought brand new from leica dealers are are the latest versions.

 

if i persist with my new lenses, and master the seemingly mysterious leica focusing technique, how long should it take for the m8+lens system to get aligned. when i mentioned back/front focus, i was refering to images taken of one english alphabet by each lens. to get the hang of focusing this 'intricate and complex' piece of equipment.

 

later i lined 3 p*psi cans and tried the focus. i did the same with my nikons and

the zf 50/1.4, zf 25/2.8, nikkor 35/2, nikkor 28/1.4, nikkor 85/1.4, and nikkor 60/2.8

macro. the problem was only with my leica m8 and leica lenses on that body.

 

I don't want to get into the focusing issues but i think many folks don't realize there holding a 20 year lens in there hand and expect it to focus correctly when this lens may never have seen a a CLA in it's lifetime. When I owned Hassy gear it went annually in for CLA to keep the lenses tuned and working, nothing different with any other lens system and Leica with all that precision going on inside and major mechnical parts and gearing needs the same CLA. Folks your expecting your car to run without grease and a oil change. Think the same for your lenses, they need TLC also. Yes some are out and need adjustment out of the box but the human element comes into play also on ALL levels from user to the OEM. I just got a 35 cron version IV and the focusing is stiff and maybe was made in the late 70 or early 80's and there is no question in my mind it never seen a worksbench. It focuses great but still needs a CLA on it. Most Leica lenses are most likely in that same category of being 20 years old and never seen a work bench. Something to think about

 

CLA = Clean , Lube and Adjust

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Guest guy_mancuso
I never expect a used lens to focus properly without adjustment, not because of any fault of Leica but for the reasons you mention. New -that's another story.

 

On a side note: I just got a 50 year old Summaron 35/3.5 it works and looks like it came out of the factory perfectly adjusted this morning. Amazing, but you can not expect that of lenses that have been used for decades as a rule.

 

You have to sort out the unreasonable expectations of those who think that they should be able to mount a dozen 30 year old lenses that have never been serviced and expect everything to work perfectly from those who have purchased new lens that are mis-calibrated out of the box or discover that focus shift might be more of an issue with digital then film.

 

It's the first digital M. It's great that such a small market segment should be getting a digital solution geared to a method of working which has not been mainstream for 40 years but there are always kinks to work out in anything so new.

 

I agree Hank the new lenses should perform as expected. I just wanted to bring up the old lenses may need CLA's and folks should be doing that on a regular basis.

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I have not seen the problems described here with poor focus and I have both a new and used Leica lenses. I'm also back leveled in firmware updates as the old code works fine for me.

 

I always had SLRs in the past but I learned a valuable lesson from my father in law who used rangefinders. He compensated for bad focusing technique and errors by stopping the lens down. He was always shooting two stops closed more than I was. I laughed at his technique back then but now it makes sense. If I'm rushed to take a picture I close it down so that focus is never a problem.

 

I'm also a believer that fewer lenses are better for a range finder due to the mechanical coupling required. My wife's travel cameras were always small rangefinders with one lens only and they worked very well. I'm coming to the conclusion that my used 35mm Summicron lens will be on the M8 90 % of the time.

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I realise that most of this thread is talking about brand-new lenses, but let's not forget all the used ones out there suddenly recalled in service.

 

The only lens I have that gives me any trouble at all with focus was my 75 Lux, which needed to be adjusted. Kindermann Canada does an excellent job, and so does DAG. I realise it's frustrating to say the least, but it's true that many lenses need specific tweaks to adjust to a given body. I've had all my fast Canon primes and the 70-200 zoom in to CPS for calibration too; Canon's new mark 3 models include a "self-adjusting" mount or something to prevent the scores of backfocus complaints they've had too.

 

On the M8, after a year of shooting, I had to re-adjust my own infinity focus to the 90 cron and 35 lux, both wide open, up close and for infinity. That seemed to nail the others (50 lux CV 28 1.9. and thin 90 Elmart). I've never had any trouble whatsoever with anything wider than 28mm.

 

I don't know if that helps, but when I get a used lens I mentally tack on $100 to have it adjusted as a matter of course.

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1) Complain about one thing (bad calibration) doesnt mean that we are saying the M8 was a bad camera. I love the M8 and rangefinders. I think its still ok to expect that a) new lenses are focusing accurate and

if I send a lens to Leica and pay 250 € for cleaning and calibrating a lens it also should focus accurate afterwards.

And if a new lens (50asph) doesnt focus precise and I send it in and it still slightly backfocuses than something is wrong with Leica´s way to calibrate and check focus.

Again-great camera system, and I get the images I want, but still complain about the focus issues. RIght now out of 3 Leica 50s (2 of them went to Leica for calibration) I own and one Zeiss the Zeiss is most accurate when used wide open. Kind of sad. I can work around, but I dont like to focus on a ear if I want the eye to be in focus.

Cheers, Tom

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I just got a 35 cron version IV and the focusing is stiff and maybe was made in the late 70 or early 80's and there is no question in my mind it never seen a worksbench.

Sounds like my cron 35 from 1970, the seller made it clear it had never been cleaned and lubed. And it's quite stiff. But I didn't want to send it off until I had a substitute in hand, so got a cron 35 (IV) with a 1995 serial. Yeah, it's an expensive habit alright! (The IV is mint and I love it, but it's hard to tell which I like better.) Now the older cron and M6 (which needs service) go off to Sherry Krautner. When I get the other lens back the newer one goes off for coding. Can't be without both at the same time!

 

The 35/2 IV is a great little lens:

 

Edit:

Oh, and I should add that the ability to use classic lenses like this is why I think the M8 is so valuable.

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Well, don't feel too bad... Misfocusing equipment is one of the most common complaints among digital AF SLR users. It turns out that modern AF lenses need calibration too. (That said, AF systems are magical most of the time.)

 

This may be heresy to some, but what I like best about RF cameras is not in fact RF focusing (which can be fiddly and difficult to use with moving subjects), but the ability to compose using framelines. So, I think an autofocus M would be pretty cool in concept. But it would destroy the precision mechanical feel of the lenses for sure...

 

Relax though, Leica is surely not going to do this with the M. For the R, that's another matter...

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I'm two months new to RF and the M8 was a recent acquisition ever since my Tennis Elbow refused to go away, even after 6 months. I got rid of everything DSLR and immediately got a bunch of new lenses: 16-18-21 WATE, 21 ASPH, 35 Lux ASPH, 50 Lux ASPH, 75 AA Cron, 90AA Cron, ZM 25 and the Hexanon UC 35mm. (Still looking for the 24 ASPH, 28 Cron ASPH and the ZM 85).

 

Of all the lenses, I cannot seem to nail focusing on the 35 Lux and 90AA closeup with certainty. Every other lens works fine and the funny thing is that the Hexanon is the easiest to focus whether near or far. Really silky action and consistent from left to right without being loose. All the Leica lenses have various degrees of drag and on some lenses, at the extremes, more strength is needed to focus at infinity or close up. I'm really not bothered by this, but am surprised that a nudge is necessary.

 

After reading a lot on the ZM Sonnar-C (and the article in LFI about the 35mm Lux), I realized that there is some focus shift in the design. 90AA is an example where focusing close up (10 feet or nearer) is no good while focusing 10 feet or further will demonstrate 90AA in all its glory. Are we expecting too much or are we to live with the "constraints"?

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Well, don't feel too bad... Misfocusing equipment is one of the most common complaints among digital AF SLR users. It turns out that modern AF lenses need calibration too. (That said, AF systems are magical most of the time.)

 

This may be heresy to some, but what I like best about RF cameras is not in fact RF focusing (which can be fiddly and difficult to use with moving subjects), but the ability to compose using framelines. So, I think an autofocus M would be pretty cool in concept. But it would destroy the precision mechanical feel of the lenses for sure...

 

Relax though, Leica is surely not going to do this with the M. For the R, that's another matter...

 

So true.

Moving objects are difficult to get spot on, especially when you're new to RF.

What perplexes me is when is it the lens and when is it technique?

I don't mind sending off a couple of lenses to DAG for CLA, but I'd rather take pictures.

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what you say makes a lot of sense. i am a new comer to rf. all my lenses were

bought brand new from leica dealers are are the latest versions.

 

if i persist with my new lenses, and master the seemingly mysterious leica focusing technique, how long should it take for the m8+lens system to get aligned. when i mentioned back/front focus, i was refering to images taken of one english alphabet by each lens. to get the hang of focusing this 'intricate and complex' piece of equipment.

 

later i lined 3 p*psi cans and tried the focus. i did the same with my nikons and

the zf 50/1.4, zf 25/2.8, nikkor 35/2, nikkor 28/1.4, nikkor 85/1.4, and nikkor 60/2.8

macro. the problem was only with my leica m8 and leica lenses on that body.

 

Hi Fursan,

 

I haven't yet seen all of the posts here but some M8s (brand new) may have rangefinders that are slightly out of adjustment. I haven't experienced that myself but others, apparently, have. Before sending any lenses out, I'd first have the rangefinder adjustment checked. Your lenses (if they're new and working properly) should focus correctly wide open so long as you yourself are focusing correctly. It may help to use a focus magnifier to be sure of the latter. If you know someone who has had a lot of practice with RF cameras, perhaps he or she can double check your tests.

 

How much error are you seeing? Are you seeing mis-focus in your usual pictures or only in testing?

 

This RF adjustment issue has been an even bigger problem with some examples of the Epson DRF. The majority of M8s (speaking only from anecdotal evidence) seem to be adjusted correctly.

 

If, in fact, various lenses are not focusing correctly (again, wide open) on your particular M8 then getting the RF checked and adjusted if needed would be the first step I'd recommend. Yes, the rangefinders on all M8s should be set correctly when the cameras leave the factory. But a RF is a mechanical system, shipping travels can subject the camera to various shocks, etc. and so it may be that some small percentage of cameras aren't quite dialed in as they should be when the customers receive them.

 

Again, the *production* copies of the M8 I've used have all had rangefinders that have been adjusted correctly.

 

Cheers,

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Any resolution advantage gotten for the premium paid for a $3000 Leica lens over a competent $300 lens is completely lost with a slight amount of mis-focus.

 

 

I've heard that somewhere before....<G>

 

Best,

 

Sean

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I am very happy with my M8 but have had focussing problems.

 

Just wanted to say that the argument about old lenses may be misleading. I bought the M8 together with a brand new 35/1.4Asph S/N 4xxxxxx. Backfocussed images everywhere below 1:8.

 

Fortunately:

 

(1) Any lens I purchased since then did much better and all have brought great joy.

 

(2) The initial focussing problems lead me to this forum, the reading of which I have benefitted from tremendiously! So I guess I need to thank that 35/1.4A b*****d.

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I have completed my leica M8 set-up. 'cron 28,'lux 35, 'lux 50, APO 'cron 75, 'elmarit 90

and the makro 90/4.

 

Am I asking or expecting too much from Leica to have M8 and my Leica lenses focus

properly. Or this is the way Leica takes pictures and the way pictures are taken

with Leica? I have committed to be with it for the long term..but am seriously frustrated.

 

Or do you experienced M8 folks expect to have a backup M8..one to use while

the other is off to Solms? In desperation and encouragement from forum members

did the 2mm hex gymnastics ( I want to take photos not be a mechanic! ) and it is

either or..28/35/50 or 75/90/90. I was trying to acquire the 'lux 75 but no way now.

 

As one last ditch attempt to stay with leica I shall have my MP delivered today. Hopefully

the MP and my lenses shall give me the pleasure of image making that led me

to Leica.

 

I am convinced Leica can and does deliver superb images. The only issue is that

I cannot be sure it will do this everytime..all the time like my nikons have done

for me.

 

Sorry for the rant..but I am frustrated. Any suggestions will be gratefully acknowledged.

 

Thanks.

Sorry for your loss, of confidence. Not very sure how you came about it, however you were swayed from another system. Every system presents a loss when compared to what one does not want, thus the "bird in hand" aphorism. That you have so many newly produced lenses and the M8 with so much to fault all of this investment, I too would ask, but differently: "What is this much?" From what I've read/heard the MP is a fine rig, but it may not solve your post/riddle.

 

Ironing a shirt today I noticed that the fabric pattern did not quite match at the seam. Later, the iron gave out, but the shirt is still flawed, somewhat. I'll keep the shirt, but buy a new iron.

 

rgds,

Dave

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