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Compared to the 5D....made me laugh

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That being said. I haven't taken a physics class for so many years but why do they have to be so much bigger. Sensor is a bit bigger and lens is a bit further away from sensor does that small a difference really have to equate to that big of a size difference?

 

The OM-1 was small but I'm not sure if a body that size would have room for the various digital gubbins inside it.The pentaprism and mirror certainly take up a lot of room in these cameras so that's a challenge for all SLRs. I'm testing a K10D right now which is quite compact but, of course, it isn't full frame. Even with 4/3, it seems Oly wasn't able to make the E-3 especially compact (maybe they didn't want to).

 

The OM-1 points the way for any company trying to make a very light and compact DSLR but, again, even that body might not allow the needed room. It would be worth looking at how Oly did it, though.

 

It's amazing, in fact, that the M8 was able to stay so close to the M7 body size.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Stefan,

 

You still haven't answered the question: why the need to post here? No doubt your leaving Leica would be a blow to the company and to its admirers, but surely you have much more important things to do with your time. Who's photographing the Foo Fighters while you waste time here?

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I never could understand why some people feel the need to comment on an ongoing basis on stuff they don't own, don't use and don't want to use. I feel no pressing need to troll film forums or Pentax, Nikon, Hassy, etc., forums telling participants what a crap choice they have made. Why should I care what they use? How would I be able to offer any intelligent comment if I haven't had some long term experience with it anyway. Regurgitate what I read online and extrapolate from a few shots in a store or a few days use? If I'm not using it or planning on using it why waste my time offering my opinion on it?

 

Very peculiar behavior. Lot's of anger about stuff that has absolutely no impact one way or the other on their work or life.

 

Generally I like to find out about what other photographers actually using the gear I'm using are doing in terms of getting the most out of it, problems, solutions, etc., I've actually found out a lot that has been useful here. Of course one must wade through a lot that is not so useful to get to the stuff that is. Still the signal to noise ratio is better here then in other places online Leica related. Hope it stays that way.

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And here we have an example of why I waited so long to try Leica: Attitude.

 

If a BMW is the car I want to drive I'm not going to be concerned if it happens to be the choice of Yuppie assholes everywhere. Yes Leica seems to attract obsessive types on both the love it hate it extremes but so what.

 

I agree on the tool in the box comment. Comparing the M8 and DSLR's to me is an idiotic exercise like asking if a view camera is better then a Nikon. They serve different purposes, photographers use them for different reasons. What's better for documentary photography? The camera you like to use. Mamiya 7, Leica M8, Canon 5D, Olympus E3, 8x10 view camera - all good choices if they fit your style of working.

 

The samples you pointed to are great and 1,000's more could be added. But in the end what some other photographer did with his DSLR or RF isn't going to make your photography better or worse or affirm your choice as the right one.

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Comparing the M8 and DSLR's to me is an idiotic exercise....

 

It's not idiotic to one who is trying to decide which system to buy or keep. It's not like they are mutually exclusive tools and the decision is obvious. They both do many of the same things very well. I own both now, but would like to settle on one system. Both suit my style of shooting, and I prefer some aspects of one over the other and vice versa. For me at least it's not a simple decision.

 

John

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It's not idiotic to one who is trying to decide which system to buy or keep. It's not like they are mutually exclusive tools and the decision is obvious. They both do many of the same things very well. I own both now, but would like to settle on one system. Both suit my style of shooting, and I prefer some aspects of one over the other and vice versa. For me at least it's not a simple decision.

 

John

 

Yes but there are no objective measures to guide you -unless most of your photography is macro and product shots or architectural photography that requires tilt-shift lenses or something that requires long lens -not RF territory. If we are talking about photography in the wide to normal range it's a matter of your personal preference. If I tell you rangefinders are an inaccurate obsolete crap system that I would never use keep the 5D. What good does that do you. Only you know how important the M8's ergonomics are to your style of working.

 

From an image quality standpoint either will do the job along with several dozen other DSLR's -if the lack of AA filter is a big deal you can have the AA filter removed from your 5D. Do you prefer blondes or brunettes or redheads? If I tell you redheads are better will it change your preferences? it's a totally subjective personal choice.

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It all comes down to the photograph and photographer. Some feel the need to own 20k worth of kit to photograph their wife and kids, while others are doing magazine covers with Nikon FM2s. And vice versa. I know that Jonas Bendiksen photographed much of his earlier work with Leicas and slide film - now due to the nature of agency work he has switched to digital and probably finds the Canon to be more reliable and can own two for the price of one M8. And could most likely find a replacement in Mumbai, Jakarta, etc if need be. Once the image is post proccessed (correctly) and the ink hits the paper very few will be able to tell the difference (or care) between the cameras.

 

It's really a matter of factoring in a lot of differences depending on what works for you, what you enjoy and are comfortable with, the nature of your shooting, your financial position and so on and so on. No camera is a magic bullet.

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It all comes down to the photograph and photographer. Some feel the need to own 20k worth of kit to photograph their wife and kids, while others are doing magazine covers with Nikon FM2s

 

Willy Ronis used an Pentax ME Super and a zoom lens for much of his work, and he's a better photographer than I can even dream of being.

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And here we have an example of why I waited so long to try Leica: Attitude.

 

The M8 is a great tool for documentary work for sure, but it is not the only tool. The 5D is still the very best digital camera I have ever used for my type of work. I still get the best files out of it, it is the best value and has the most ability that you would ever need in a documentary or travel camera.

 

For example, this great essay on Mumbai was shot by Jonas Bendiksen with a single coat covered 5D with either a 28mm 1.8 or a 50 1.4 on it:

 

Mumbai Slum, Dharavi, Bombay, India - National Geographic Magazine

 

Don't know about you, but I think he did stellar on it. William Albert Allard is using both the 5D and the M8, he is not too shabby either.

 

Again, the M8 is a great tool to have in the box, but is not the only tool.

 

So lets lose the "Leica-attitude" it does not serve the community well...at all.

 

This struck me as kind of amusing because it was at a National Geographic Photography Conference in Washington, D.C., that one of the better known contract photographers first persuaded me to start shooting with Leicas more than 25 years ago. He did a slide presentation that knocked people out of their seats (this was in a roomful of NG shooters) and when questioned about what he was doing that made his work look so much better than everyone else's, he said, "Leica, folks. It's just the Leica glass." He then added that he hoped we all stuck with our Nikons and Canons and didn't listen to his advice because that was what gave him his competetive advantage.

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Some day I hope people will get away from the us against them mentality. From Nikon vs canon vs leica vs hasselblad to whites against blacks against hispanics against orientals, it is the same mentality. It makes me sad. Go out take a nice photo, work in a soup kitchen not just on thanksgiving day. Take 100 sf off you new 20,000 foot house and contribute the diff. to charity.

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Some day I hope people will get away from the us against them mentality. From Nikon vs canon vs leica vs hasselblad to whites against blacks against hispanics against orientals, it is the same mentality.

 

That's quite a stretch and about as far from the truth as it could be. If there is one thing this forum does and does well, it is that it blurs cultural and racial lines. All you need to do is look at the various locations of the contributors and the variety of subject matter in the photo forum. IMHO we are all one color here, thanks to the little red dot that brings us together.

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It all comes down to the photograph and photographer. Some feel the need to own 20k worth of kit to photograph their wife and kids, while others are doing magazine covers with Nikon FM2s. And vice versa. I know that Jonas Bendiksen photographed much of his earlier work with Leicas and slide film - now due to the nature of agency work he has switched to digital and probably finds the Canon to be more reliable and can own two for the price of one M8. And could most likely find a replacement in Mumbai, Jakarta, etc if need be. Once the image is post proccessed (correctly) and the ink hits the paper very few will be able to tell the difference (or care) between the cameras.

 

It's really a matter of factoring in a lot of differences depending on what works for you, what you enjoy and are comfortable with, the nature of your shooting, your financial position and so on and so on. No camera is a magic bullet.

 

That's pretty much it. If you prefer the M way of working the M8 brings most of that into the digital realm. If you have problems with it and you feel the problems out weigh the benefits you'll use something else.

 

I love working with the M8, I mean I really love working with it compared to a DSLR. Is there some magic advantage in having Leica glass -maybe there was with transparencies and Tri-X but with digital I could work with a lot of different manufacturers top of the line glass and be happy and after post processing no one would be able to pick out the Leica stuff from a dozen prints. Not to take anything away from Leica I now have the 35/1.4 Summilux ASPH, 75mm Summilux and a 90/4 Macro and I wouldn't trade them for anything around now.

 

But there is so much hyperbole and emotionalism about this camera on the one hand you have people who seem furious that anyone would use or like the M8 on the other hand you have people who assign mystical qualities to all things Leica. Hey it's a really nice camera I hope they make more and better in the future their sense of what a camera should be like is more in line with what I like then any other manufacturer. But I see great work produced with just about every type and brand of cameras I really don't define photographers by what equipment they use but by their vision and work. Often I have no idea what camera they used.

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Using lightweight cameras really doesn't fit in with my exercise requirements. I have a good friend who started using M8s just a few months ago and it's sad to see what it's done to him. A 4x5 Technika with a 75 Biogon and Sinar 6x12 or Zoom back is nice and hefty for handheld work and makes me feel good at the end of the day.

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After all how long does your finger have to be to reach that release button?

 

Isn't that what you have assistants for?

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Isn't that what you have assistants for?

 

True.

 

I deleted my post when I realized that this was the prototype. I didn't want to poke fun at them when they really have thought it through. (Yeah now it is easy to use handheld.) The real one has an electronic release in the grip and a shifting lens mount.

 

Remember that this is used tethered to a computer. Their smallest "Motion" brand tablet only adds about 3 lbs to the camera. It has a pretty nice size LCD though. I bet Arnold or Stalone would look pretty sharp using one of these.

 

I love looking at gear like this at the photo shows.

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I highly recommend one of these for the finest in inconspicuous street photography. At least you could fend off any potential attackers.

 

 

And you could take in the whole street!

 

I recently was hired to take some streetscapes for a home builder. Someone else had already shot it but the builder wasn't happy. He had taken the "street" part of the word a bit too literally.

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I have a 10D with a 70-200 zoom on it and the M8, where I mostly use the little pancake 28mm 2.8 lens. Close in I use the M8, and the zoom does a double job of a medium and long lens. The 10D has a small sensor, so the expansion factor is 1.6, making the 200 zoom a 320mm lens in full frame terms! The L glass is very good with little chromatic aberation, and the built in stabilization helps. I have been quite pleased with head shots with short depth of field. They lack, however, context.

 

One unusual factor I've noticed in using the autofocus 10D as compared to the M8. You would think the 10D is faster, since it focuses right away, and you need to be quick for the street shooting I do. But that is often not the case, that is, the 10D is slower. The problem comes in the SECOND shot. The 10D needs to focus all over again, and I have missed many shots waiting for it to focus. There is also a problem with exposure, where typically I have a wide range of luminosities -- the sky tends to get blown out a lot. It is technically possible to fix the exposure before you shoot using a special button for that purpose, but it requires TWO different button pushes, one for exposure, they other for focus, to take your shot, so it doesn't work. Of course, I could just manually set exposure and shutter speed, or I could stop things down using exposure compensation.

 

By contrast, the M8, once I've focussed, is IMMEDIATELY ready for the second shot, since I don't have to focus again. And I'd say that I am close to being able to focus almost as quickly as autofocus in most situations, or I can use hyperfocus with the lens stopped down. Additionally, I can aim at a darker area in the scene with the shutter button half pressed, then return to my subject and take my shot. This is much more practical than the Canon approach.

 

So it seems that, in use, some of the automated features actually get in the way and slow things down. A surprise to me.

 

Steve

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Canons only need to refocus for the 2nd shot if you press and fully release the shutter button. If you press and release the button halfway, focus stays locked for the 2nd shot.

 

In the autoexposure modes (P, Av, Tv), locking exposure and recomposing requires a press on the star * button. In the same modes, exposure compensation requires a half press on the shutter button and dialing the thumb wheel. With practice, it becomes second nature and quite quick. No need to see a menu. Similarly, changing ISO is one push on the ISO button, and dialing the thumb wheel. With newer models, you can see the ISO change in the viewfinder, so there's no need to bring the camera down.

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