Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dalippe

M8 ergonomics poll

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Do you agree or disagree with the following?

 

There is much good about the M8's ergonomics compared to modern DSLRs...a few, simple controls with traditional placement of aperture and shutter speed; small size; light weight; large, bright viewfinder.

 

But Leica's decision to keep the basic body shape of previous M cameras strikes me as a case of form over function, a nod to nostalgia. Much has been learned about ergonomics (and manufacturing!) since the early film Ms, and while the M8 might be easier on my back and shoulders than my 5D + 24-70, it is actually harder on my hand. While it would break with tradition, I think the M9 should incorporate a molded hand grip in the style of modern SLRs and have an option for a small, attachable vertical grip (vertical shooting with the M8 is particularly awkward, and I often find my hand blocking the optical pathway for the second image used to focus). I also think Leica should get rid of the baseplate, which serves only to slow down battery and card changes in the name of nostalgia.

 

I know many people on this board shot with film Ms for decades before coming to the M8, and might therefore be very accustomed to and comfortable with the shape of the M8. By way of background, I never shot a Leica prior to the M8. But I've had my M8 for a year now, and still don't like the way it sits in my hand. I use the Leica grip which is some help, but still not up to par, IMHO, with modern, molded DSLR grips. I also have a thumbs up on the way which may help.

 

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know many people on this board shot with film Ms for decades before coming to the M8, and might therefore be very accustomed to and comfortable with the shape of the M8.

 

The film M bodies are thinner and slightly more comfortable to handle than the M8 but I don't have any problems with the form of the latter. I'm afraid I'm one of those who will vote for keeping things 'traditional'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second that. the Leica M rangefinder hasn't changed significantly for over 50 years for good reason--it's quite a good design for its size/weight/format.

 

The Leica M is simply not an SLR, so handling one is slightly differently.

 

 

....just my opinion.

 

 

 

 

The film M bodies are thinner and slightly more comfortable to handle than the M8 but I don't have any problems with the form of the latter. I'm afraid I'm one of those who will vote for keeping things 'traditional'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of the fascination of Leica - and a major part of sales- is entirely due to the clinging to tradition by Leica. In that light the retention of the original M profile and the removable base plate - another anachronism- is certainly the correct decision. I'm convinced Leica will never move too far away from this style.

The ergonomics - I would wish for a 2mm thinner body like the film M's, but for the rest I'm so used to it that I find it hard to imagine an improvement.

A note regarding the Thumbs-up: We have been looking at this last Sunday and found that the short one is very akward in combination with the hand-grip, in fact nearly unusable. The long Thumbs-up might be better in that respect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the M9 should incorporate a molded hand grip in the style of modern SLRs and have an option for a small, attachable vertical grip

 

David

 

No, no NO! It's like putting a Mercedes star on a BMW!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll place my vote for tradition. I actually positively don't like the molded grip on modern SLRs and think the traditional M shape suits me perfectly. If the M8 were 2mm thinner like film Ms that would be all the better, but I don't mind the added depth. As far as the baseplate is concerned, I don't mind having to remove it to change the battery and card (I was quite used to having to do it to change film), but that is one traditional feature I wouldn't mind not being retained. Perhaps the add-on grip could be refined for those people who feel hampered by the traditional shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there is anymore of this nonsense about changing the shape of the M, we'll have to report you to the moderator and asked that you be forcibly removed from the forum. This is a sacrilege.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually you are in this forum on tolerance if you have not at least 40 years of Leica M shooting under your belt

:p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's that shape for a reason. I wouldn't mind betting that the M9 will differ from the M8 in only two significant aspects.

 

1. It will be thinner, and more like the film Ms.

 

2. It will have an integral "thumb rest"

 

In every other respect, the M-series, from M3 to M8 is the right shape. As someone has already said, it ain't an SLR. It's a piece of engineering, not a blob of melted plastic.

 

As to vertical handling, have you tried changing your grip to one of those recommended since time immemorial for portrait M-shooting?

 

Regards,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill: I change my grip so that my right hand is on the bottom, with the camera resting in my right palm and I press the shutter with my right thumb. I'm pretty sure I read that suggestion on this board, and I it is the most comfortable I've found. But I still don't like it very much. Is that one of the methods you have in mind?

 

Bill and Andy: I don't see the relevance of the fact that the M is not an SLR. I was simply suggesting that there are changes that would make the M8 more comfortable for me to hold. I mentioned SLRs as a reference, so that people would know what kind of grips I have in mind. If airplanes came with those sorts of grips, I would have mentioned airplanes. Presumably you wouldn't then have felt the need to point out that Leica Ms are not airplanes!

 

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A note regarding the Thumbs-up: We have been looking at this last Sunday and found that the short one is very akward in combination with the hand-grip, in fact nearly unusable. The long Thumbs-up might be better in that respect.

 

I agree (having just bought the short T-U). However, I hardly used the hand-grip before I got the T-U because of the extra bulk, and with the T-U it is completely unnecessary.

 

So that's a 'no' vote for moulded grips or anything else that would detract from the original shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The M8 shape is fine. A handgrip is best left to a 1/2 case like Luigi offers or the accessory handgrip. This allows one to choose what is most comfortable in their hand.

 

To me, The M5 is still the most comfortable M to handle, but again, that is personal preference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I change my grip so that my right hand is on the bottom, with the camera resting in my right palm and I press the shutter with my right thumb. I'm pretty sure I read that suggestion on this board, and I it is the most comfortable I've found. But I still don't like it very much. Is that one of the methods you have in mind?

 

It's holding the camera to shoot portraits which turns me off molded grips. I don't want a vertical grip for the added size and also don't want to hold the camera with my elbow pointing towards the sky, which is the only way I find a molded grip comfortable. With the M I can keep my elbow down.

 

Instead of resting the weight of the camera in your palm and using the shutter release with your thumb try this: keep the weight of the camera in your left hand by gripping the lens with your outside three finger (focusing with the middle two) and running your index finger on the baseplate. You obviously have to loosen your grip a bit to let the lens move when focusing. You can then just use your right index finger to release the shutter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find my M7 with motor to be much better than the 8 with grip. I think if the 8 was slightly taller in relation to its thickness it would work better. Of course everyone wants to see it smaller not bigger! But I doubt the 9 will be slimmer. If anything I dont mind slightly larger if it means FF and bigger buffer etc. I think Leica could continue to improve the ergonomics of the add on handgrip - maybe even offer a couple of different models. But leave the body shape the same. And I could do without the removable baseplate - I find SD cards to be much more fiddly and prone to loss/dropping than a roll of film (I have big hands). For battery I dont mind but a simple door in the side (lose the USB?) would be better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the current notion of ergonomics isn't as important as the older one of shooting style? Leicas have survived as cameras (as distinct from collectors' items & luxury gifts) because of the way they feel in the hand, above all when carrying the camera for street-shooting.

 

The size, weight, & especially the BALANCE of the camera are Leica hallmarks. It can easily be carried in one hand (and somewhat concealed on today's streets), then raised to the eye & grasped with the left hand for a solid grip that often permits a lower shutter speed. Or braced by its strap for even more steadiness.

 

Cartier-Bresson used dancing & hunting metaphors (cats & hawks) to describe the feel of shooting with a Leica. It's a matter of adapting one's own carriage & gestures to the way the camera feels. People who saw him shooting described his actions as a dance. Listen sometime to the old slide-tape where he gives words to his shooting style: "Snick, snick, snick."

 

The M8 is indeed a 'Leica with love handles,' but the feeling of balance in one's hands is very close to a classic film model. When I switched from DSLRs to M8, I felt like I was holding 'my' camera again. It's great that with so much more hardware onboard - heavy battery instead of light film cassette, & the necessarily thicker body, placing a viewing screen behind a sensor - Leica has been able to preserve so much of the camera's traditional feel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest, I asked myself this question also several times. I think that the inventor of the Leica would have changed several things over the time. Probably a "todays" Leica M would have half the size and weight.

 

But who cares? The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the charme of the M8 is to have a camera, that was invented a very long time ago and still have great ergonomics and makes pictures that are simply great! When I want an ergonomic camera, I will buy something else. The M8 is like buying a Bentley Blower with an up to date engine. I would buy such a car instantly!

 

There are only very small things Leitz may improve, for example to show shutter-speed from outside of the camera (why not alternating with the counter on the top f.e. camera off= counter, camera on = shutter speed).

 

A yes, blue tooth or something like that will be great, and a smaller charger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Leicagoodies "Sling" which basically keeps the M8 welded to my hand very securely when shooting out and about. I take it as given that the exterior dimensions of the M8 are a function of what had to be crammed inside; I am sure that if it could have been engineered to M7 dimensions it would have been. I do not want any more bulk added to the camera that might be ergonomic for some but not necessarily all. KISS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...