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D Carter

Who is buying the M8?

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If this has already been asked and answered then kindly refer me to the thread...

 

No doubt many M8s are being bought by existing M users with experience and collections of lenses.

 

How many are being bought by first time M (or rangefinder) photographers?

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Hi Doug, welcome to the forum.

 

To address your question, I'm afraid I have no idea. I'm not sure there are any relieable figures out there.

 

What seems apparent from this forum is that there are some people buying the camera who are new to the M system, but I would suspect that the majority of purchasers are existing M owners.

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I would have to think a lot are being bought by first time M users but most by existing M users.

But now that there is a M digital it opens the door to those that would like to shoot Leica but didn't want to go back to film.

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Nobody here knows the answers to your questions. We only know about ourselves and perhaps a few others who own the camera.

 

Why do you pose this question as your first post here, Doug? Do you own an M8 and wonder if your'e in the "right" group?

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Guest tummydoc

I doubt if even Leica know the answer. Even products that come with buyer survey questionnaires on the warranty registrations often don't get filled-out. My suspicions are along the lines of everyone's, that the majority of M8s are being bought by people with existing M kit. However there's ample evidence in forums that a significant number of buyers are first-timers, even if they don't admit it, some of their questions are dead give-aways. A case in point was one person asking if the M8 had mirror lockup

I also believe that some (but not all) of the M8-misfocussing and framing issues come from those heretofore unfamiliar and unpractised with the Leica M.

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The M8 was my first M camera. After only shooting DSLR's (never even film, let alone range finders) the RD-1 and M8 were the natural way for me to explore RF use. I bought both and sold the RD-1 (fine camera though). I became so entranced with RF photography, the size, frame lines, and quality of the lenses and camera, I got an M7 which I use quite a lot as well. So I represent Leica's best case scenario in developing a customer! best....Peter

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Yup, first M, first rangefinder. Shot digital before that with a (don't laugh) Canon G5.

I started out years ago (actually in school), shooting & developing b/w (Old Voigtländer Cam of my Dad's) and then went on to SLR (Sigma cheapo) and slides.

 

Buying the M8 was impulsive. I went to a store, asked for the D-Lux 3 and the vendor replied "nope, not delivered yet - but I have an M8 here if you want to take a look".

 

That bastard sure knew how to upsell

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Dirk-thats the best upsell I've heard about in a while. I think m8s are being bought by existing m users, people who used M cameras in the past and have been on a long foray into dslrs and now Im hearing about many photojournalist buying in for the size and image quality. Me-Im an amateur existing m user....Brad

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Nobody here knows the answers to your questions. We only know about ourselves and perhaps a few others who own the camera.

 

Why do you pose this question as your first post here, Doug? Do you own an M8 and wonder if your'e in the "right" group?

 

Don't own one yet. I'm trying figure out how much of the premium for this camera comes from the demands of the existing user base.

 

Asked another way.... would the M8 sell as well (or at its existing premium) if it were the first Leica rangefinder instead of the eighth in the series?

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The M8 was my first Leica. My grandfather was a portrait/wedding photographer in the 60s. He had three Leicas. He let me use them (sometimes) so I was familiar with the rangefinder and Leicas

 

My first real camera was a Nikkormat but over the last 30 years I yearned for a Leica. Then came the digi revolution and finally the M8. Eventually 7 months ago I succumbed.

 

Like many here my other camera is a Canon 5D. If poss I seem to prefer to always use my Leica. I never thought the camera size would influence me so much, how could it really matter, but it does.

 

Jeff

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Don't own one yet. I'm trying figure out how much of the premium for this camera comes from the demands of the existing user base.

 

Asked another way.... would the M8 sell as well (or at its existing premium) if it were the first Leica rangefinder instead of the eighth in the series?

 

If I was thinking of buying one these issues would be irrelevant. Look at the images, handle one etc . That's what I did and bought one and didn't regret it one bit.

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Asked another way.... would the M8 sell as well (or at its existing premium) if it were the first Leica rangefinder instead of the eighth in the series?

 

Well no, even though I am a new user I know about Leica rangefinders.

 

 

Jeff

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Lets see the historical sequence is:

 

Soligor -screw mount SLR

Olympus XA rangefinder (love that camera still)

Nikon-FM2 (great camera) SLR

Nikon F3 SLR

Nikon Coolpix 4500 (sort of rangefinder, but with autofocus)

Leica M2 + summarit 35/2.8

Leica M8 + summicron 28/2

 

I still have them all except the Soligor which I gave to our neigbours son as a first camera - to see if he liked photography.

 

The M8 is a great work of art - warts and all. No problems whatsover till now am keeping my fingers crossed.

 

Stephen

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Hello, I am a new M8 user who has sold all his Nikon equipment. It was all getting too heavy to carry the good stuff for my trips. On my last trip i walked into a Leica dealer and started swapping for Leica lenses. I then purchased an M8 demo and I am very happy with it. I now own the 28mm 2.8 asph and the Zeiss T Sonnar C 50mm 1.5. I had previously not used a rangefinder type camera in about 25 years. The transition to me has been similar to going from an automatic transmission to a standard, its become a lot of fun again!

 

Ron

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Don't own one yet. I'm trying figure out how much of the premium for this camera comes from the demands of the existing user base.

 

Asked another way.... would the M8 sell as well (or at its existing premium) if it were the first Leica rangefinder instead of the eighth in the series?

 

Nobody knows the answer to that question, either. But, let me try to cut past the fog to the core issues.

 

1. Everything in the Leica brand carries a super-premium cost. The brand has worked hard for decades to develop an allure that would maintain this pricing. Hermes, the luxury womens' vanity brand and previous majority owner, really honed the Leica snob factor to a fine edge. Under Hermes the M camera became a piece of jewelry.

 

2. Around here you'll find an abundance of "it's worth every penny" opinions. As an M system owner and frequent user my opinion is that the M8, at face performance and versatility value, is perhaps worth one third to one half of its value in the competitive digital camera marketplace. Oh, yes, I know that I'll be bashed for this opinion and I won't encourage inflammation by bolstering it with evidence.

 

3. As others have noted well, above, the highest initial value of the M8 was to owners of previous M cameras and, most importantly, an inventory of wonderful M lenses. The only viable digital life raft for those lenses was a "digital M". So if you've $10,000-$20,000 in M-system lenses and finder gadgetry suddenly a $5,000-$5,500 digital camera body doesn't sound so bad.

 

4. Part of the allure of the M8 to newcomers is that it's different. It's not an slr. It's not a point-and-shoot. Everything old eventually becomes new again. Well-heeled (or firmly indebted) young men (yes, I know of only two women who own an M8) with no recollection of the short age of rangefinder photography think it's "cool". Why not?

 

5. If you're looking for an investment, rather than an expense, look elsewhere.

 

Bottom line: There is no rational justification for buying into the M8 as a newcomer. The technical price/performance value of the M8 is abysmal. It won't take a "better" picture, won't make you a "better" photographer, and it probably won't make you any money. So put away the spreadsheets and the HP 12-C calculator.

 

The M8 is something you buy (a) because you've loved rangefinder style photography in the past and want to extend that experience into the digital medium, or (

because you've been intrigued by people who qualify for (a) and are willing to blow big cash to see what the fuss is all about.

 

May I suggest considering getting a (relatively) inexpensive used film rangefinder camera and lens first to try out the rangefinder style of photography. There's at least a 50-50 chance that you'll hate it.

 

Hope this is helpful...I wasted too much of my morning writing it.

 

Enjoy your photography in whatever form and format you choose to pursue it.

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My M8 was my first Leica camera, my first rangefinder, and of course, my first M. I don't know what the proportion is around here, but I would guess perhaps 50:50.

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First M and rangefinder for me. I had Canon DSLR equipment, which I found myself leaving at home when traveling due to size. I was using Canon G7 for my traveling camera, but wanted more. My tendency is toward wider angle and not telephoto. For traveling the M8 is reasonably sized. I also wanted to step up my interest in photography. In my college days (almost 40 years ago), I worked with manual focus SLR's and enjoyed the experience of focusing, worrying about DOF, etc. The M8 has taken me back to those days, in a digital way.

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It's my first M, first rangefinder. Nikon D100 & D200 before that. I got back into photography having enjoyed it for some years at school before a tosser of a teacher killed the joy. I then forgot about it for ten years or so and only started again on my honeymoon when I suddenly realised that we really ought to have a proper camera to record the event! (We had a little Konica P&S but bought a cheapo Nikon film SLR.) That reawoke the interest, just as digital SLRs were starting to be affordable... and I'm a complete sucker for all things electronic, so it was no time at all before the cheapo Nikon became a D100. And then a D200...

 

When I heard Leica were considering a digital rangefinder it seemed so fascinating an idea that I followed it closely. It felt what they were intending was far more similar to the kind of cameras I'd used as a kid (one had bellows!) and which had started the whole excitement off for me. That, coupled with digital control – cos I was never a fan of the darkroom – sounded like a winning combination. There was only the price to deal with

 

Teething troubles aside, and I've had my share, I love this camera. It really does do some kind of time-travel thing back to when I was first introduced to photography and was taken up with taking shots of my friends and laboriously hand-printing them in the school cellar. And then there's the image quality and the lenses and all the stuff that everyone already knows, which of course I value as a grown-up.

 

So there you have it. Definite convert, wouldn't go back, despite my occasional attacks of bitching (which are thoroughly justified, BTW... let's just hope Leica don't give me any excuses with the M9

)

 

And for what it's worth, getting used to the rangefinder system took very little time for me. I'm not sure I've ever used one before – I don't think so – but it feels really intuitive, and I haven't found the lack of a WYSIWYG finder anything of an issue. I still can't tell which frame lines are which, but that's about it...

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