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M8 Iraq field test - ouch...

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My recollection is that the framelines of the M6 were 'looser' than those of the M3 - sorry I no longer have my M3 to verify this.

 

As sure as eggs are eggs if Leica had made the framelines accurate at say 2 metres rather than the minimum focussing distance there would be people complaining that their close up shots were being cropped. Would I prefer the framelines to be accurate at 2 metres? Personally yes I would. But it's easy to adjust.

 

Would I prefer better performance at higher ISO? Yes I would, but even with fim I shot maybe a dozen rolls a year faster than ISO 400 - a negligible amount.

 

Again these are my preferences, I can easily live with the camera as it is. You couldn't.

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Roel, if you don't like it sell it.

 

Meanwhile I will continue to learn to use mine - warts & all.

 

I do not see your problem with the framelines as they are consistently tighter that the actual frame. No heads or feet are lobbed off. So at worst you get more that expected and with some experience you can interpolate to the exact frame. Irritating but hardly a show stopper.

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Guest Roel
Roel, if you don't like it sell it.

 

Meanwhile I will continue to learn to use mine - warts & all.

 

I do not see your problem with the framelines as they are consistently tighter that the actual frame. No heads or feet are lobbed off. So at worst you get more that expected and with some experience you can interpolate to the exact frame. Irritating but hardly a show stopper.

 

Not only framelines. But I stop on this forum. If you all accept a camera far behind it's concurrents, a slow camera that no professional photojournalist wishes to have, and that for a very high price, than you are indeed worshippers instead of critical, responsible consumers. Leica was always too late and arrogant, with the M8 it is ridiculous. And they let you pay for it. Professionals just want good, trustful stuff. Each day we shoot many, many pictures. Leica cannot compare any longer with others. It's very sad, but the truth. So long.

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I am amazed that these threads keep popping up.

 

Someone makes an unfavorable comment about the M8 somewhere and all heck breaks loose. Any and all of the comments in this thread are basically rehashes of stuff that has been flogged to death in numerous other threads, but it keeps happening, with the usual degeneration to attacks and anger.

 

Sorta like war, I guess.

 

Anyway, to lob my own mortar into the pit, I just recently sold off all my DSLR gear. The M8 is the only "digital" camera I now own (other than the usual assortment of pocketable P&S units that live in various bags around the house). It does what I need, and serves me faithfully, evidenced by the fact that for the past 14 months whenever I needed a digital camera I would always grab the M8. The DSLR stuff just sat there unused. So I guess the M8 just suits my needs, but I'm not in any way offended that someone else might not agree.

 

To each his own. Tolerance, and all that.

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Not only framelines. But I stop on this forum. If you all accept a camera far behind it's concurrents, a slow camera that no professional photojournalist wishes to have, and that for a very high price, than you are indeed worshippers instead of critical, responsible consumers. Leica was always too late and arrogant, with the M8 it is ridiculous. And they let you pay for it. Professionals just want good, trustful stuff. Each day we shoot many, many pictures. Leica cannot compare any longer with others. It's very sad, but the truth. So long.

 

Which concurrents:confused:

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Guest Roel

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Which concurrents:confused:

 

One more time: Leica has become a camera for amateurs. Professionals, at least photojournalists does not like it. Too slow, too bad in high Iso, and so on. Is that a compliment for a firm? Something to be proud of? Or for you? We own a camera that professionals cannot use, because it's weaknesses. Price: 5000 euro. The D3 is cheaper and 5 times better on the things we discussed. The point of all this? Demand for example a not too expensive upgrade program, including a better sensor. Remember?: for that life time camera.

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You're ranting..

1. There IS no better rangefinder sensor

2. The M8 IS fast, 0.7 sec from startup is faster than you can put it to your eye and focus.

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Roal, the image quality from my M8 is better than that from my 5D - and that was using both Leica and Canon lenses on the 5D.

 

Framelines can only be accurate over a narrow range of distance - whether that's an M3, M6 or M8.

 

The framelines of the m 3, 4, and 6 were much better than of the M8. For the rest it is with a lot of Leica buyers the same as with a lot of Apple users. One can compare them to worshippers. Instead of that one should demand from Leica better stuff. We are talking about fundamental camera parts. The only advantage of the M is nowadays its size. How different that was with the old M's. And that for 5000 euro.

 

Clearly, Roel, you are p*ssed off about your $5000 euros for a camera you are clearly disappointed in. I am sorry. I am not disappointed in mine at all, but I am just an amateur who can afford it. The LeicaNuts in this forum do seem to miss some objective information and attitudes that even I have stated (Voigtlander glass is quite good for one-tenth the price) and viciously defend their camera system. Good for them. But you seem to be especially mad at yourself or Leica for the M8 purchase. I would suggest taking the $1000 bath and selling the thing, sticking with an M6 or M7, and buying a D3/5D. No one has a digital rangefinder that is compatible with 50+ year old lenses, solves the vignetting problem inherent to film-intended rangefinder lenses with as little a crop factor, nor produces the resolution (albeit without a thik IR filter requiring lens filters) that Leica has. I love my M8. Get yourself a divorce and be done with it. Save the 'tude and apply it to keep the Democrats out of Washington.

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Roel--

My sincere congratulations that in your last couple posts you've used the forum's "Quote" button! It makes your notes much easier to read.

 

But please relax. We all agree that Kamber and others have had real problems with the M8.

 

And for you to keep citing known deficiencies of the camera is ridiculous. If nothing else, we've read Kamber's article. You don't need to keep reciting the same issues.

 

Nice to have you in the forum, but here we don't usually castigate others for not agreeing with us.

 

Try looking at it this way: M8 isn't for sports shooters or for photojournalists or for macro. But there are a lot of people--including professionals--who find it perfect for other jobs.

 

So why don't you let it lie? (If you can't let it lie, you need to look into yourself to figure out why not.)

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You're ranting..

1. There IS no better rangefinder sensor

2. The M8 IS fast, 0.7 sec from startup is faster than you can put it to your eye and focus.

There also is NO OTHER digital rangefinder camera with interchangeable m-mount available. So that is only true by default.

I have been reading this thread for several days now. Simply appalled at how easily many try to dismiss the shortcomings of the camera. You equate being critical (pointing out flaws) with heresy.

Your many responses are both amusing and amateur. (these are all paraphrases)

"you don't know how to use the camera"

"if your that critical why don't you sell it"

"latest firmware upgrade will fix this"

and my favorite

"the wrong camera for the job"

At $5500 it needs to be the right camera for more than you family picnic, or a casual walk down the street (hyperbole). After all it was supposed to continue the legacy of the m- system , not continue the ala-carte sales marketing. In addition a $5500 camera body should just not 'good enough'.

As much as I enjoy using the camera I am also acutely aware of it shortcoming - and there are many. As you all should be , and willing to discuss them reasonably and rationally. If Leica does indeed read this post you want them to be aware of the issues and not gloss over them. Otherwise if there ever is a M-9 it will not be any better than its predecessor .

One last final comment digital photography is about the sensor as much as pre-digital photography was about the quality, sensitivity, grain, lattitude etc of the film. You should be able to extrapolate from this the need for a sensor that has greater lattitude as do the films that are available. An ISO setting of 1250 or 2500 should not look like film that has been pushed beyond its limits.

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Guest stnami

............be it expensive................. but combined with the lenses the best B&W camera around

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I fully back his thoughts about the M8. The M8 is a wonderful camera, but it has it's flaw's - so for now everybody using it has to live with these flaws.

 

My hope is that a next model will be also mature in these flaw areas, which would make the M8 a real perfect camera for a lot of areas of usage.

I don't know why we have to live with some of these flaws except that Leica is not even trying to fix the ones they could. They can make a self adhesive piece to fit over the buttons and protect them and they can use some of the unused buttons during shooting to make the exposure compensation and things like that. Leica appears to have no intereste in making this camera better is ways that they EASILY could. In my perspective the Leica company is the worst thing about this M8.

Dan

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An amusing view on all this is that, apart from MK (the war journo) and Roel, I don't think anyone else has declared that they will sell their M8 as a result of their dissappointment. Maybe Roel hasn't yet said that, but he should.

 

As already noted (far too many times) the shortcomings of the M8 are well known. If the complete package as delivered does not suit your needs, you have fooled yourself! I have spent most of my working life using Hasselblad and Nikon. I still have them. Won't sell them for personal reasons, but they never work for me now because of their shortcomings, relative to my chosen areas of work. The M8 covers all my work requirements that supports my family comfortably without outside assistance. That fact alone makes the M8 a success as far as I am concerned.

 

Let me elaborate on my view of what work is, in the current context. It includes successful capture and delivery of images, both for income and personal indulgence. It includes the use of equipment that is convenient, comfortable and a pleasure to use.The equipment must be reasonably reliable and predictable. A critical part of my work is the careful choice of tools that suit the work I am tackling. That requires me to admit that no tool is the best in the world but that some tools are the best for a specified job. Currently my favoured choice is the M8, along with it's set of shortcomings which suit me in preference to the shortcomings of all other cameras.

 

I don't expect anyone to nessessarily agree with me other than what I have said is absolutely true for me, and I suspect others.

Dissidents there must be and they are entitled to their opinions freely whilst acknowledging mine, and others.

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Leica appears to have no intereste in making this camera better is ways that they EASILY could. In my perspective the Leica company is the worst thing about this M8.

 

Comments like this always confuse the heck out of me.

 

How do you know "they EASILY could"?

Do you design and manufacture cameras for a living? Or even as a hobby?

 

I mean, you might be right. But I'd like to know how you came to that conclusion.

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I have a M3, MP, and a M8 and am happiest with the M8 for all kinds of reasons for most of my photo applications. I would no more buy a camera suitable for war use than I would trade my car in for a Humvee because it's better suited for Iraq or I would start wearing combat boots. I do not want to drag along a darth vadar helmet-like DSLR. Everybody has their priorities and let them choose with their wallet. My 2 cents.

 

Jan

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Comments like this always confuse the heck out of me.

 

How do you know "they EASILY could"?

Do you design and manufacture cameras for a living? Or even as a hobby?

 

I mean, you might be right. But I'd like to know how you came to that conclusion.

 

I believe what he meant were things like reprogramming the lesser used buttons to select ISO rapidly, etc. In fact there are many improvements that could be made in firmware alone that have been suggested on this forum and ignored by Leica. Changing a button function is pretty trivial from a programming perspective and yes I am a programmer so I know about programming buttons.

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Speak for yourself. I've loved mine and haven't picked up my 5D since I bought the M8 28 months and 15,000 frames ago.

 

Wel, is the ISO allright than? Is the camera not slow? Are the frame lines accurate?And so on. Better to enervate the arguments in the Iraq test, than your meaningless sentence. Roel.

 

Sort-of, Yes, No etc. But if you want to mount Leica glass and you want it to be digital, what else are you going to do?

 

I thought it was an interesting article - I don't disagree with his comments having experienced most of the issues described with the camera. From his point of view it is an unacceptable working tool. So why did he bother taking it with him or working with it?

 

I would add that the last firmware release fixed an awful lot of problems and I do wonder what release he was on when taking most of these pictures. I've got excellent results at iso1250 but you have to work hard for it. I wouldn't want to try it from the back of an armoured personnel vehicle in twilight, though.

 

LouisB

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Comments like this always confuse the heck out of me.

 

How do you know "they EASILY could"?

Do you design and manufacture cameras for a living? Or even as a hobby?

 

I mean, you might be right. But I'd like to know how you came to that conclusion.

 

I can't imagine that it could be very hard Leica, a company that has been making cameras for a long time, to at least make some simple modifications to correct some of the things Mr. Kamber has mentioned - recess the buttons, add access doors to the baseplate, change the on-off switch.

 

What floored me was this statement:

 

"That being said, I have found the Leica M8 to be unreliable, poorly designed, and to deliver substandard results in most of the situations in which I have used it. I can’t think of any camera--or for that matter any electronic device I have recently used--that so thoroughly fails to live up to its potential and its heritage."

 

Justified or not, I can't remember ever hearing an experienced professional say something like that about a top of the line camera from a major manufacturer.

 

I will say that I don't have an M8. At one time I was somewhat interested in getting one, but I am not usually an early adopter. So I came to this forum to learn about it. And since this was an entirely new direction for Leica, I thought I'd wait and see how it played out. Plus, I can't justify buying a camera unless it does something I really need. (Even if I really like everything about the camera.) I stuck around because I found that this forum was civil and often could be pretty interesting.

 

In the meantime, my best friend bought 2 M8s to use along with his other gear. (He has a number of film Leicas, Canon digital, and more.) I put a lot of weight on seeing how his experiences would be and prefer that he spends his own money to test cameras for me ;-) He was well aware of all of the "issues" in advance of purchase. At first he really liked the M8s, but after using them for about six months and having similar issues and complaints as were expressed by Mr. Kamber, he got fed up and sold them. But he never posted a 7 page critique of the M8 although perhaps he could have.

 

My point is that it doesn't take very many stories like this before it may become a real problem for Leica, especially among Leica's traditional market of photo-journalists. So let's hope they get their act together and improve it. They can start with the simple things that could be done immediately if they wanted. In my opinion the next digital M should be a very modern ergonomic camera where usability, image quality (in low light too), and reliability are paramount. The M8 or a variant can stick around for those who appreciate the Leica tradition and that camera's design (As dated as it may be to some others.)

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