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Should I buy an M8

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If you have a problem with sending lenses and camera back, potentially multiple times, don't buy.

 

I really feel for those who have had to wait weeks/months fore these issues to be fixed. But please believe there are many of us who haven't had these sorts of problems. My M8 was among the first to be shipped out last year. To date, I have used a wide range of lenses while searching for my perfect kit: (for fun, I've bolded the ones that make up my perfect kit)

15 CV

28 Canon /2.8

28 CV ultron

28 Summicron

28 hexanon

35 CV PII

35 Summicron IV

35 Summicron asph

35 Summilux

35 summaron f/3.5

35 zeiss biogon

35 nokton

40 Summicron

40 Nokton

50 Zeiss sonnar

50 Summilux pre-asph

50 Summicron rigid

50 elmar (the modern version of the collapsible lens)

75 Summilux

75 CV heliar

90 macro elmar

90 tele-elmarit

90 elmar-C

 

Only two of those lenses had any sort of focusing trouble. the CV 40 Nokton (which I really wanted to use for its size) and the Zeiss 50 Sonnar (the focus shift was corrected by sending the lens back to Zeiss for adjustment).

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I have been thinking of buying an M8 for some time now and have scoured the forum reading all the threads to fully research and my heart tells me that I really, really want one but my brain is telling me not to. I have sat with my phone in one hand and my credit card in the other and have even dialled the store number only to hang up.

 

I know the feeling well. It's one characterized by obsession rather than rationality.

 

Since you seem to be soliciting anonymous public advice (mostly encouragement and permission) I'll offer mine to the pot.

 

Wait one month. Forget about it for that time. Distract yourself with some other pastime, like sky diving or deep sea diving.

 

The M8 will still be readily available. But the building obsession will have passed like intestinal gas, leaving you with a much better perspective on whether or not the expense of the M8 is really right for you. (If you have income-earning ready cash for the purchase you will also spend less for the camera!)

 

Controlling the acquisitive demon within us all is a very valuable self-discipline.

 

I know you will ignore my remarks and just let others convince you take an immediate jump. But I said my piece.

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Ah yes, the equipment acquisition demon.

I must confess to it.

 

Problems with the M8 -

For me at least, I look at them as annoyances, smaller than carrying a tripod but of a similar nature.

The M8 and tripod both seem to improve the quality of the results I get, so both are worth the effort.

 

But truthfully, I am fickle. If some vendor starts selling gear that gives me better results, t a similar price or lower, then off I will go smitten with another round of gear acquisition syndrome.

 

-bob

 

Oh, and P.S. Coming from the software industry these last 37 years, I would just like to lead leica by the hand into some healthy software discipline. I feel so sorry for them that they still seem to be trying to work out the basics.

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Graeme,

 

Buy one right now if you can get it at the old price. Otherwise you'll wish you did in a month or so.

 

Graeme,

I made a similar inquiry to yours a couple months ago. Though my main concern was big enlargements. The IR and White Bal are not a big deal for me. I'm used to UV filters on my lenses and I always shoot RAW. I ordered an M8 a month ago or so- presumably at the old price. I'm still waiting for it and have accumulated a few lenses waiting for their matching body.

 

That said I'm considering it an experiment. And will have no qualms about selling it if it doesn't meet my standards. I must admit had I been following the forum a little longer and learned all the many little (and some big) issues that plague this machine I may never have ordered it. On the flip side I have very positive association with all my previous film RFs including Leicas. Also since I do this for my living an M8 can never replace my DSLRs so I will keep that system.

 

But one sees and shoots differently with a RF. So I see it as a potential augmentation to my work and creative soul. For that its worth the gamble and if you can find one at the old price you probably won't lose much if anything if you decide to turn it over.

 

Good luck!

 

Joel

http://www.joelwolfson.com

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Graeme,

 

Buy one right now if you can get it at the old price. Otherwise you'll wish you did in a month or so.

 

What he said. Sell something you have to pay for it (or part of it) and you'll feel a lot better.

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I bought one of the first M8s because I knew I loved rangefinders and I owned a DMR, and was extremely impressed with it and the Leica R glass.

 

The M glass has a different character, and on the forums here we sometimes quibble about which is better, DMR or M8, but for me the family resemblance was huge.

 

Having the M8 was like having a little portable DMR, which made me very happy on many levels.

 

So should you get it? If it wasn't for the price changes, I'd say Ken T. had the best advice. Unless of course, you've already been cooling off on buying an M8 for a month or two

Then you'll want to take advantage of the old prices.

 

In truth, if you can try one first for a day or two that will give you a better sense of if you're going to like it or not.

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Do not be put off by the grumbles on the forum.I have had mine for 8 months and it is fantastic.It takes a while to get to know the camera but the results are great.I live near stockport and we have 2 good dealers in manchester so go and try one for a few hours.The vast majority of M8 users are more than happy and no nothing about freeze ups,front focusing.back focusing etc. If you need any advice from Leica UK you will no doubt find that nothing is too much trouble for them.Go and enjoy the camera.

Brian:)

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Graeme,

not sure what your needs or desires are when it comes to photography.

But you've had professionals and avid amateurs answering your question very intelligently.

The issue here is the M8 is a great camera, it begs you to use it, makes great photos and really injects fun back into photography.

This was my first real foray into RF photography, having come from Canon SLRs, but I've quickly become quite proficient at using the M8, I've taken thousands of photos in the past 9 months and I'm loving it.

Have I experienced the magenta issue: yes, have I experienced zebra stripes: yes, have I had a lock up: yes, once. But nothing that has detracted from my enjoyment and constant use of my M8. I wish that I could justify a second body.

Buy it now

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Guest stnami

....incapapble of decision making ..........easy.......................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

toss a coin

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Just to help you spend the money ...

 

I am an avid photographer and always felt I was coming up short when I would read of some photographer who "always carried a camera with him." [As it happens, it was never a her in my reading.]

 

When the D2 came, I started to carry it with me all the time and this continues to be true with the M8 (tho the D2 stays home, now).

 

Make sure to ask us which lenses to get...........

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You have two choices! Buy one and then be ready to empty your bank account on lenses and accessories (and even a second M8) or don't buy one and always wonder what you may be missing.

For once I agree with stnami, Flip a Coin. But then you'll be doing best 2 out of 3 or 3 of 5 or 4 of 7 and so on until the outcome of the coin toss come out in favor of BUY IT NOW.

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I am speaking as a non-professional enthusiast (ie. I do not make a living from photography) who cut his teeth in the Canon digital SLR world. That said, I find the M8 experience to be much more satisfying than using my 5D. I love the whole process of digital photography: mentally designing a shot beforehand, deciding on natural or augmented lighting, utilizing the camera/lenses during the shoot to capture the angle/feel/mood, working the digital file to actualize my concept. Using a rangefinder, with its inherent design parameters (manual focus, framelines, etc) seems to fit my workflow better, in a slower, more methodical sense, prolonging the photographic experience. In other words, when I am transferring images to computer, I am usually reflecting on how much fun it was to actually take the pictures. The digital files produced by the M8 are gorgeous and, for me, easier to process, in less time, than my 5D files. And, because the M8 and 4 lenses fit lightly in a small camera bag, I take the camera with me almost constantly and shoot more often. For example, I have a scenic drive to work and there are numerous photographic opportunities (old bridges, quaint barns, fog covered fields with Mt. Hood in the background) along the route. So, having the camera in the car means that, on days when the clouds/sun/colors are just right, I park, explore the shot, take photos for 10 minutes, and continue on.

 

I have a buddy who owns a late model convertible Carrera. He likes to say that driving the Porsche is his one source of constant joy. Sure, it's expensive and impractical from the family/trips to Costco perspective. But he loves driving it; he loves the way it makes him feel. Hey, he's a car guy. To me, the M8 is my one source of constant joy. Quirks and all, (probably much like my friend's expensive car), it is nothing but an incredibly fun tool for making beautiful images. I could get there with my 5D, but it is the drive and not just the destination that counts. --Rob

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You Leica guys are EVIL!

Urging that poor fellow on to eternal financial ruin like that!

 

(Come to think of it ... I'm a Leica guy too ...

)

 

Buy the camera!

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I waited months and months and months to pull the trigger, but in early August, I did it.

 

Am I glad? Yes, most of the time. It's a quirky camera in a good way most of the time. The occasional lock ups when shooting continuous bug me now and then, but 99% of the time, the thing is solid.

 

The thing folks have not mentioned on here is that some of the frame lines are not so accurate. For example, the 28 frame line is great across most of the focus range while the 50 is a bit loose and changes as focus changes. This is more of an M thing but it is not that hard to overcome since you can chimp.

 

Focus is marvelous. I use a Canon 5D and sometimes I find my self checking focus and it is off with lenses like the 24L, 35L and 85L. Not so with the M8 if yours is calibrated right. I am really lucky, mine is 100% spot on with both the 28 and 50, the only two lenses I own.

So achieving good focus is much more easy in low light than with DSLR AF.

 

Now...honestly, I think you ought to find a good used M3 and 50 Summicron and use it for a month or so before you spend many thousands on an M8 and lenses.

 

The reason being is two-fold:

 

1. Out of all my M cameras, M3, MP-3, M6TTL and M8, the M3 is the best. It gives what I feel is the most grand Leica experience for only $900-$1,300 U.S.

 

The shutter is unreal. Since it has no meter, it has no meter detent in the shutter release so it goes off right away. I can not tell you what a joy that is when shooting, you have to experience it. Also, the viewfinder, if clean, is fabulous with a 50, by far the best actually. The M3 is an experience you should not miss, it is pure un-adulterated Leica. I shoot C-41 black and white films with a restored collapsable Summicron 50, take the film to a 1-hour lab and get absolutely stunning prints!

 

2. Despite what one person said on here about re-sale, the M8 loses value very, very quickly on the used market. The reason is that it is known to have issues so people are very cautious and would prefer to buy new, so if you spend $5,500 U.S. today on an M8 and find it is not for you and keep it in new condition, you will only get around $4,300-$4,600 U.S. for it depending on your luck in selling it. That is a LOT of money to test drive something in my opinion.

 

I think the M8 is a great camera, but I waited, did my research and even as a pro, gave it a lot of thought before spending the money.

 

Try an M3 and 50 for awhile. Then, while you are doing that, see if you can try an M8 for a day or so. Even a few minutes at a store will help you gauge.

 

Good luck in your journey!

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go ahead and do it, life is short.

 

it provides more driving pleasures than any other cameras I have used, less is more, experience it and you will love it.

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