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plasticman

M9, digital CL or R-D1 - advice please

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All preferences as to film vs digital aside, I find that I now need to add a digital camera to my film cameras once again, capable of using my M-mount lenses.

I hope this doesn't provoke a rain of abuse falling down on my head now, but I've decided against the M8 as the solution (no, I don't want to debate why).

 

My options are therefore limited to:

 

- the R-D1 (preferably new, because of reliability issues)

- whatever Leica is currently developing - and here I'd like whatever opinions you may have as to the possibility that this year may bring an M9 and/or a smaller package (along the lines of the CL) that is also compatible with M lenses.

 

I think that Mr Lee hinted at this latter scenario in an earlier LFI article.

 

Hope people aren't too bored/annoyed with the question to give me some honest and straightforward advice.

 

Thanks!

Mani

 

Ps: if anyone has an image of the R-D1/s alongside an M8 for me to be able to judge their relative sizes (can't seem to find this sort of comparison image by googling...) I'd be very grateful.

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RD1 is a very good camera, but not to the standard of M8 imagery. However, I have seen some very good stuff done with it. Personally I find it a bit lumpy and I don't like the ergonomics, but that is just me.

For the time being the M9 is not even vapourware, but just a rumour, although I personally wouldd not be surprised if it turned into reality.

The best option, despite your caveat, might just be a used or demo M8 after all.

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I had and RD1 before I got my M8 and I keep it. It's a nice camera. The range finder is a little sensitive to bumps but I liked it.

 

It's my M8 back up and with one any lenses you get can be used on a future digital M.

 

I will say the M8 produces the superior images but the RD1 is fine I've made 13x19 from it.

 

It has the Nikon D100 sensor so it even has some IR contanination like the M8.

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I don"t know what inspired your question, but you might consider buying a Digilux2, at a quarter of the price of a RD1, to tide you over until the Photokina.

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Have both but havent used the rd1 after I got the M8.

 

Main reasons: 10 MP instead of 6, weaker AA filter, better dynamic range (just my feeling).

Also the rd1 only has 3 frames in the viewfinder.

Actually regarding ergonomics I prefer the rd-1.

I had twice problems, once with rangefinder, once with many hot pixels- the rd1 I have now works pretty ok. Reliability of the rangefinder is an issue. Many problems reported with wrong adjustment of the rangefinder.

 

Regarding M9: Personally I prefer to buy things which are available. I dont think Leica will present a M9 that soon, and after its presented they have to make it, and after they produce it we have to see how it works.

IMO life is too short to wait for future products. And when the M9 is finally there I bet there are reasons to find for the M10.

 

Cheers, Tom

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I am not sure the RD1 is available as new... seems to me to have read (here) it's out of production; I never used it, but at the times of announcement thought it was a good idea.

I do not think Leica will make something in that range, i.e., a "Digital CL", unless they try to convince Panasonic to engineer something around the M mount...

And the so called "M9"... who knows and when and how much ? You say you want a Digital NOW.

 

<quote> but I've decided against the M8 as the solution ...

OK, do not discuss...but you can't forbid me to write that it would be the REAL option...

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thanks for the replies everyone!

 

I don't want to be dragged into the reasons for the no-M8 decision because I fear that the discussion would be side-tracked.

 

I've done some pretty exhaustive research on the *existing* options, including the R-D1. I actually tried to buy the camera twice from Robert White long before the release of the M8, but my first order coincided with a lengthy out-of-stock, and my second order coincided with them sending ALL their R-D1's back to Epson for recalibration and other fixes (they'd opened all the boxes after a few customers had had problems).

Incidentally, as an aside, Matt Sampson (I think I remember his name correctly?) was the most helpful person I think I've ever dealt with at any camera store anywhere.

 

This purchase is not enormously urgent, but I definitely don't want to buy an R-D1 only to find that Leica release a digital CL (and I really DO think there's a possibility of that type of camera sometime, judging, as I said, by what Mr Lee has stated in interviews), which turns up at PMA next month...

I guess I want to test the warmth of opinions regarding upcoming changes to the digital rangefinder options...

 

Thanks again!

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I suspect that if you wait for an M9, if ever there should be one, and you are a regular reader of these posts you will not buy one of those either. It will not matter how goood the M9 might be, there will be many critics demanding upgrades or, perish the thought an M10, that it is entirely possible that you will forgo again the opportunity to own a really excellent camera. Buy the M8 and enjoy life.

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At this point I see little to recommend the RD1. Reliability issues, especially the RF, Sensor that is getting a bit behind times, not so much in image quality, but in resolution, especially croppability, very uncertain future regards repairability, and a "new" one might still set you back nearly 2000$. Not to mention the manual switching of framelines and limited frames, bulky profile etc. Not to put the camera down, I would take it any day over a DSLR and the images are excellent, but it might indeed be wise to wait for the Photokina.

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Although I went for an M8, I still think of one thing that the RD1 had that was really cool: a normal winder lever, just like any movie shooting camera.

 

Marco

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I agree with Tom0511 “…life is too short to wait for future products…” There is a learning curve with a Rangefinder camera together with the Leica design. I just purchased my new M8 after the last price increase and man, it hurt! Still, I love the camera despite the fact that it’s smarter than me. By the time the next “M” arrives; I will have undoubtedly gained some experience so as to more quickly adapt to the newer version. One thing I’ve learned over the past 30-years with technology, is that you will always be thinking of the latest and greatest item that’s just beyond reality.

Regards,

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...Hope people aren't too bored/annoyed with the question to give me some honest and straightforward advice...

No problem. If you're in a hurry there are only 2 alternatives to the M8 so far, the R-D1 and R-D1s.

I own both and prefer the R-D1 for the only reason that vertical RF misalignments are easier to adjust manually with the latter.

If you're not in a hurry i would wait 2008 if i were you given persistent rumours about the M9 and/or a digital CL.

R-D1 and R-D1s have the same body which is bulkier than any Leica M including the M5. M4-2 and R-D1s here, no M8 sorry.

 

 

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The only thing I think we can expect from Leica this year at Photokina is something on the R-10. Maybe an M9 in 2010 but not this quick and certianly nothing at PMA.

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ok guys - thanks again for the input.

 

Personally I don't consider this to be a 'wait-for-latest-and-greatest' type of decision.

There are reasons which aren't directly relevant to this situation which rule out the M8 (for me), and because the only other existing option is the (not-so-reliable) R-D1, I simply wanted to see whether the forum consensus was that new developments in the M line were unlikely this year, which would be difficult for me to afford during 2008 if I spent the necessary $2500 or so, on an Epson now.

 

No argument at all with either the 'life-too-short' or the M8 > R-D1 crowd. Just trying to make a rational decision without unlimited resources.

 

I'm still reluctant to add a digital to the film cameras anyway, but circumstances are forcing my hand.

 

Many thanks again.

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The only thing I think we can expect from Leica this year at Photokina is something on the R-10. Maybe an M9 in 2010 but not this quick and certianly nothing at PMA.

 

I would think (hope) for the M9 in 2009, but definitely not 2008. Best case they show us some specifications at Photokina 2008.

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Oh and btw - thanks LCT for the image! Strangely difficult to find such a comparison picture, which I'd somehow imagined would be everywhere on the net, after the release of the M8.

 

I've never seen the Epson 'in the flesh', so this gives me a much better idea (it's bigger than I imagined)...

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Guest tummydoc

M9: does not exist

 

digital CL: does not exist

 

R-D1: out-of-production and terrible after-sale service support.

 

My advice? Buy a low or mid-echelon Canon or Nikon dSLR and bide your time until one of these pipe-dreams actually becomes a reality. Then it might be a point to discuss.

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Always loved my R-D1 ...... and still have it as a back up.

Where i realy prefer the R-D1 to the M8 is for it's viewfinder ..... the 1:1 with single framelines .. !!

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M9: does not exist

 

digital CL: does not exist

 

R-D1: out-of-production and terrible after-sale service support.

 

My advice? Buy a low or mid-echelon Canon or Nikon dSLR and bide your time until one of these pipe-dreams actually becomes a reality. Then it might be a point to discuss.

 

Thanks for your contribution Vinay, but forgive me for saying so, I'd rather keep it all good-natured.

 

I know there are many people who think this sort of discussion is pointless/repetitve and/or simply foolish. But from the point-of-view of someone contemplating spending a relatively large amount of money on a camera (which I don't really want to buy), throwing a quick question out there to judge the general feeling about the state of the forthcoming market this year is worth discussing.

 

Anyone who thinks it isn't, can of course simply ignore the thread altogether,

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By no means I would go for the RD1.

 

If you want to have something now (this year) the go for the M8. It is as mature as it can be and is pretty ok for serious work.

 

If you have some time and can wait till 2009 then I would strictly recommend to wait for the M9- It is expected to be FF, but also have no longer need for the IR Filters, thus you can skip this stage of buying filters for your glass.

 

And I am pretty sure that the M9 by being a FF M will bring much higher and better ISO support, I hope in the range we know from the Nikon D3.

 

So if something now, go for the M8, otherwise wait for the M9

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