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Verbatim666

I love my M8, but it is rubbish

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I am new to Leica, always had SLRs. A practica when 10, then Yashica, contax and finally Canon. I have enjoyed them all. Never broken a camera.

 

bought a Canon 600mmLIS f4 for birding, the tripod mount collar lock was broken on arrival, but it was replaced with a brand new lens the very next day, so no complaints from me.

 

the Leica is a completely different beast and I do like it - a much better 'snap shot camera'! People don't notice it like a big SLR.

 

It is only 2 weeks old, but has locked up a couple of times, shows a different picture from the one i have just taken on the instant review! and has given me black and red zebra stripes across the viewfinder.

 

The camera is currently unusable in colour as Leica haven't yet sent me the IR blocking filters. The purple blacks are laughable - what were leica thinking to release the camera like that? What sort of customer service makes you wait for the filter on a product this expensive? Absolutely incredible and Leica deserve to go bust for that alone.

 

I have scratched the monitor screen in just 2 weeks. We currently have 8 digital cameras with screens in this house ranging from an EOS 1D3 to a fuji point and shoot - haven't managed to scratch the monitor on any of them.

 

All these are issues with the M8, and I can understand Leica are a small company and are learning about digital so maybe I can cut them some slack.

 

but now my 28mm lens has gone 'wobbly', the lens elements have come loose. This is Leica's optics, something they are supposed to be able to do in their sleep. (perhaps they did do it in their sleep?). I am not being offered a replacement by tomorrow as I was with the faulty canon lens.

 

As I said, I am new to rangefinders. I have always used SLRS and am used to their ways. I can definitely see the strengths of a rangefinder in certain types of photography and I enjoy its difference. But quite frankly, given that I have just spent £5000 on the camera and 2 lenses, its a joke.

 

One could understand an overpriced, idiosyncratic product for the wealthy to buy as a toy. but the customer service should be exemplary and it isn't - it isn't the dealers fault, he isn't getting the support from Leica. If it is really a professional product then it needs to produce the goods, which it doesn't.

 

With Leica clearly not being too concerned about this level of service, I really question how long they will survive.

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Welcome, to the best digital RF the world has so far experienced. leica shall

continue so long as the company owners can accept the returns that they expect to/or are

getting for their investment.

 

So long as slr folk convert to leica, i do not foresee much of an issue for leica camera.

 

once again welcome to the magic kingdom and enjoy the ride. frustrating, but

exhilarating. and this place..superb but sometimes eccentric and knowledeable folks.

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With Leica clearly not being too concerned about this level of service, I really question how long they will survive.

 

Oh, they will, don't worry...

 

One thing is for sure: Although I am just a hobbyist, I would not go somewhere very special with the M8 as my only camera.

On the other hand, there is nothing as refreshing as walking with an M8 and just one lens after a day with my D2X+17-55mm combo...

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Well you wont ever want a medium format digital as they do not have the IR filter on the senso either and I don't think they give you any for free. I have had mine a year now and luckily haven't had any issue at all. It did takes it's trip back to Solmes though. I recently sold my 1DMKII but did keep the 5D. It very rarely gets used anymore though, mainly for wild life. I am sure once it gets sorted out you will be quite pleased with it.

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Simon,you say you're new to Rangefinders,is the M8 your first one? 'cause it's a different experience than using an Slr and I'd imagine you couldn't pick a worse tool for bird-shooting,although I confess I'm new to Rangefinders myself and am banging away with an old Yashica Electro myself and loving it even though the lens is a fixed one and I'm stuck on 40 Mil. good luck........Liam.....my m8 blues=$

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I am new to Leica, always had SLRs. A practica when 10, then Yashica, contax and finally Canon. I have enjoyed them all. Never broken a camera.

 

bought a Canon 600mmLIS f4 for birding, the tripod mount collar lock was broken on arrival, but it was replaced with a brand new lens the very next day, so no complaints from me.

 

the Leica is a completely different beast and I do like it - a much better 'snap shot camera'! People don't notice it like a big SLR.

 

It is only 2 weeks old, but has locked up a couple of times, shows a different picture from the one i have just taken on the instant review! and has given me black and red zebra stripes across the viewfinder.

 

The camera is currently unusable in colour as Leica haven't yet sent me the IR blocking filters. The purple blacks are laughable - what were leica thinking to release the camera like that? What sort of customer service makes you wait for the filter on a product this expensive? Absolutely incredible and Leica deserve to go bust for that alone.

 

I have scratched the monitor screen in just 2 weeks. We currently have 8 digital cameras with screens in this house ranging from an EOS 1D3 to a fuji point and shoot - haven't managed to scratch the monitor on any of them.

 

All these are issues with the M8, and I can understand Leica are a small company and are learning about digital so maybe I can cut them some slack.

 

but now my 28mm lens has gone 'wobbly', the lens elements have come loose. This is Leica's optics, something they are supposed to be able to do in their sleep. (perhaps they did do it in their sleep?). I am not being offered a replacement by tomorrow as I was with the faulty canon lens.

 

As I said, I am new to rangefinders. I have always used SLRS and am used to their ways. I can definitely see the strengths of a rangefinder in certain types of photography and I enjoy its difference. But quite frankly, given that I have just spent £5000 on the camera and 2 lenses, its a joke.

 

One could understand an overpriced, idiosyncratic product for the wealthy to buy as a toy. but the customer service should be exemplary and it isn't - it isn't the dealers fault, he isn't getting the support from Leica. If it is really a professional product then it needs to produce the goods, which it doesn't.

 

With Leica clearly not being too concerned about this level of service, I really question how long they will survive.

 

 

I am sorry for your experience. I have had mine for some time now without one problem whatsoever. Fantastic build quality. I would consider it like owning a Mercedes or BMW(which I have had two of each)- great quality of build but if something goes wrong, it really goes wrong. Price does not buy reliability in your case, or in the case of German sedans. Leica will make it right however, but I understand your frustration.

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All hyperbole aside--the m8 is not anything like rubbish--I'm sorry you seem to have hit every single possible problem with the camera. Do your lenses focus OK? Just kidding

 

As for magenta blacks, well, you knew about that before you bought the camera, right? I agree there shouldn't be a wait for the filters, but that's part of my

 

You are shooting RAW, right? If so, then the magenta can be taken care of either with an adjustment in LR / PS CS or with a profile for C1. Send me a message if you need a profile that will mitigate the magenta.

 

Some of the other issues are just firmware related; they'll be fixed, though it's bad luck on the screen--I've used mine professionally for almost a year and I am NOT gentle with it. No scratches yet

 

In the meantime, the M8 produces some of the very best files I've ever seen from a portable digital camera. So it maybe wasn't a grand-slam home run camera, but it's a winning double with the bases loaded

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Well you wont ever want a medium format digital as they do not have the IR filter on the senso either and I don't think they give you any for free.

 

I'm not sure if this is true today on current models. The H3 (39 meg Kodak sensor) has it built in to the sensor. The Mamiya backs come with removable filters that fit on the sensor. And I haven't seen any mention of needing IR filters with other current MF backs. The info on the Dalsa chips just says that they are "perfectly matched to the visual spectrum."

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So long as slr folk convert to leica, i do not foresee much of an issue for leica camera

 

Unless they read this forum. There's enough case studies here to give them cause to pause.

 

Simon has a fair concern. It's also why I'm not selling my Nikon kit just yet as I know it works faultlessly every time.

 

(Simon, I started with a Praktika about the same age, and like you have just gone down the M8 path, but very cautiously given the reported issues. I hope it is a Mercedes-like experience as mentioned above, but if not, I won't be keeping it)

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Mmm..well, I am sorry to hear that you had these problems with your new M8, but if you are so unhappy with it you should return the camera to your dealer and I am sure he will check it/change it for you.

I also agree that Leica should supply the UV/IR filters when the camera is bought, and not send them to the new buyer a month later, being the filters so essential for the correction of the magenta problems.

Anyway, it sounds like you are based in the UK: I find the level of service given from the Leica people at Milton Keynes unbelievably efficient, and they are to be highly praised for that. Well, that is at least always been my experience with them.

As for me, the M8 has been the ONLY digital camera that is giving me the same "pleasure" of shooting with film, and it is the ONLY digital camera I use.

I keep using my MP too but I must admit that since I have acquired the M8 much less than before.

I never had a single problems with my M8.

Of course I do get the zebra problems on the LCD every now and that, and that is frustrating sometimes, and the camera does have a few glitches that have to be rectified, but it never ever frozen on me (yet) and never ever let me down (except for the battery going dead with not much of a warning and THAT is annoying).

But I would never regret buying it and I would never complain (at least so far, and this is my fourth M camera and at least as many lenses I bought from new!) of the Leica UK customer service though.

I am happy with my M8, and I love the quality of the pictures it takes,at least to my eyes.

That's what matters to me.

To me the M8 is a wonderful camera, it allows me to use the Leica glass, and I can live with the glitches it has.

But of course I do understand the frustration of a new RF user when things don't go right.

I hope you'll get your camera sorted out soon and start really enjoying using it.

I am sure that after this moment of disappointment and after you learn to accept a few "small" glitches" that the camera still unfortunately carries, the more you will use your M8 the more you'll like it.

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The trolls are out...

 

well the sad thing is that we all know these are the issues and it is entirely believable, which is why I would not say this is not trolling....

 

otoh the reason I now do all of my work with the M8 is that I got tired of autofocus and bad viewfinders and bulk and soft pictures. Issues that are endemic to dslr's.

 

I think it is just a bed you make. There are issues with all gear. Hasselblad's locking up, mamiya RZ's not firing, etc, things that make me want to tear my hair out.

 

Leica's issues are somewhat unique, but I do like the pictures I get, and I do like the experience of using the camera day to day. After an initial total meltdown, my replacement has been fine, albeit with the some of the hiccups described by the o.p. But 99% of the time the camera bends to my will, and not it's own, so I am happy.

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Sure,

 

but if one thinks the camera is rubbish, and still is willing to pay £5000 an love it, then it's strange and weird. I would not pay ~7000€ for rubbish, and if I did, I wouldn't love it.

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Well you wont ever want a medium format digital as they do not have the IR filter on the senso either and I don't think they give you any for free..

 

Sorry but my P20 (and all other Phase One Backs) have a "Phase One TG1 IR cut-off filter

permanently mounted on top of the CCD" from P Series Reference Manual.

 

For pedants:- If you wish Phase One will remove the IR cut filter.

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I understand the need to vent when things don't go right, but these sort of posts really do skew the general perception of the M8. The camera has problems which are well known (although I'm not so sure about "wobbly" lenses or scratchable monitors ... haven't seen those myself), and a little bit of research should serve to inform the potential buyer that they are there. But the problems are for the most part under control -- in some cases a little user intervention is required -- and at a level that dedicated users are willing to put up with for the extraordinary quality of the files the camera delivers.

 

But of course people look at the forum and see all the venting and complaining and assume "rubbish camera." Then they see response from users trying to negate the negativity a little and assume "rabid afficionados." It does get a ittle tiring.

 

We should probably have a very prominent sticky at the top of the forum list: "READ THIS BEFORE BUYING YOUR M8!" A list of Caveat Emptor points that everyone considering an M8 should read before buying the camera. Not that it would help ...

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Simon:

I, too, am sorry that you seem to have encountered more than your fair share of M8 issues. After approximately 6,000 frames on my M8 I have encountered some of the issues you noted, too. I think every M8 owner has.

 

Although I was not new to Leica M's when I got my M8 I, too, became rather disappointed with the camera after a few months. Your sentiments regarding the M8 seem to have the heat that mine had perhaps four months ago. I mostly just set the camera aside for a couple of months, returning to it only recently after regaining a broader perspective.

 

I think that if you stick with the M8 and get your IR filters set your enjoyment of the camera will increase. Just keep shooting with it and get the feeling for how it handles. Master manual focus. Comparing the M8 to a dslr (or even a p&s) is wrong-headed. In my opinion you'll find more harmony with the M8 if you consider it a micro-large-format camera. It is best used in a rather more studied process than is typical of the video-game/convulsive style in which use their dslr cameras.

 

Regarding the camera's output I'll only say that post-processing M8 files is a unique endeavor from working with files from any other digital camera. In my experience, the M8's color is generally not very accurate across the visible spectrum. In some situations it produces dreadful images. But in others it can really shine. In this case practice does not make perfect but it is essential. The M8 is most certainly not an out-of-the-box happy snapper.

 

But be reasonable with yourself. If after a few months you really can't get comfortable with the M8 just sell it and move along. It's just a camera. The 35mm rangefinder became relegated to a marginal niche (actually, neared extinction) 30+ years ago for a good reason: it's a much more limited instrument than the slr. Even if the M8 was a technically superb instrument (which it most certainly is not) it's not the best choice for most types of photography or photographers. So while you may take a bit of a financial dent abandoning the M8 (the less the sooner) you'll not waste time wearing shoes that don't fit you.

 

By the way, you surely realized that posting such an angry note on the Leica boards is analogous to screaming that the emperor has no clothes. There are many folks here with balanced perspectives on the camera and its role in photography. But there are nearly as many whose primary emotional allegiance is to the camera brand and model rather than to the photograph. So you should expect to get some stiff headwinds from this group. Just bear in mind that the enjoyment of photography is a multifaceted phenomenon. These days many people spend much more time typing about cameras than they do working on their own photography. But it's all good. To each his/her own when it comes to enjoying "photography".

 

Take a deep breath. Good luck.

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I too am sorry about your experience. The troubles you mention are not unheard of but a bit unusual - and very unfortunate.

 

I was either lucky, more experienced using a non automatic camera or possibly more tolerant.

 

You have several options of course. The trivial solution might be to shuck it and go back to SLR-s. I hope you will not take this. But it is your option. Good luck!

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If it continues to be rubbish, get rid of it (return it, sell it, whatever)

 

Just like just about every M8 owner I've had a few problems in many thousands of frames of use. But the image quality and the "user experience" is just so good that I keep coming back for more. More of that amazing image quality, more of the Leica lens draw, more of the rangefinder modus operandi.

 

Continually amazed, continually frustrated, continually spending more money (on lenses)... Not dissimilar to any relationship really!

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