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M8 Iraq field test - ouch...

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But I think their first attempt isn’t too bad, and hopefully they’ll be around long enough to make an M9…

 

Thanks Noah for a balanced view. And I love your Cuba pictures!

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Guest Roel

As a professional you are for example at a political congress. All your colleagues shoot on 2000 or 3000 ISO what is indeed necessary. You cannot do so, you have a Leica M. The camera that once was famous because of its possibilities in low light conditions. You try it on 1250. One of the politicians is doing something that needs to be shot with motordrive speed. All your colleagues are much, much faster than you are. Besides of that speed, your camera stops after ten images because it needs time for ' writing ' , while the others can go on shooting. JPEG is no option. It's horrible. Than, in another moment.your Leica stops all of the sudden. You cannot find out what it is, the only thing is to remove the battery and place it back again. But you have missed an important moment. And indeed, you have to watch the settings frequently, because they can easily change when the camera touches your body. Because of that touches the glass is also full of scratches, though you treat your camera carefully. Colleagues have a cheap, hard plastic cover to avoid such scratches.

For some shots you need a tele. 2 or 300 mm. Digital. There is no reflex camera to buy from Leica. You can buy red, blue, and golden cameras. A la carte. What has become of that firm?

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And indeed, you have to watch the settings frequently, because they can easily change when the camera touches your body. Because of that touches the glass is also full of scratches, though you treat your camera carefully

 

ROFL. Easily change? In 18 months of use - about 800 frames a month - I haven't done this once, and there are no scratches on the glass. Maybe I should write a blog about it <grin>.

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Steve,

Yes the 'Set' button in particular is very easily activated . Probably because of its position on the camera - it easily rubs against your body.

 

 

Peter

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For some shots you need a tele. 2 or 300 mm. Digital. There is no reflex camera to buy from Leica. You can buy red, blue, and golden cameras. A la carte. What has become of that firm?

 

Pile of s...... What does this have to do with the M8? And how about Leica DMR??? Apparently there will be a SLR follow up at PhotoKina.

 

I was at wedding recently and the pro had this bazooka shaped thing made by a company starting with a C. I was making shots under the same circumstances without anyone noticing what I was doing (except - hey that is an old camera - how cute!). In fact the pro was VERY intrusive.

 

A few days ago the couple asked whether they could distribute my pictures as they liked them better (answer was yes obviously).

 

It was not pitch dark outside or in the church - so if people start marrying at midnight I might reconsider my options. Photography of vampires is also not up to standard yet with the M8 - major problem.

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… I don't recall any posts by individuals telling us we should be content with the product as is.

 

Peter

 

Hi Peter,

 

There were many who refused to accept that there was a problem and said that it was all user error. And Rob Galbraith had to work very hard to convince Canon. And even today there are those who are convinced that the 1D3 still does not focus as well as the 1D2 even with all the fixes in place.

 

Mud sticks, as it has to Leica even though Leica has resolved many of the problems reported by Kamber.

 

Pleased you are enjoying your M8. I have managed to keep my Canon 300 F2.8, fantastic lens but I rarely use it now.

 

Jeff

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Guest Roel

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You should make better comparisions. And surely you're no prof. Otherwise you should know that ISO's above let's say 1000 are common in the profession. I wrote about some more things. Hopefully the firm itself takes it more seriously.

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Sorry, I just have to chime in again (but I promise it will be the last time ... maybe).

 

Parts of this discussion makes very little sense to me. And I still think that comments to the effect that Leica could "easily" modify the camera are unrealistic. Furthermore, the exceptional high ISO performance of the newest DSLRs that some people are basing their arguments on didn't even exist when the M8 was introduced (as I remember, the M8's ISO/noise performance was pretty standard at the time).

 

But anyway, Leica is a VERY SMALL COMPANY. Let's not forget that very important fact. As far as I can gather Leica Camera AG has less than 1,000 employees (one source states 951) who essentially make the cameras by hand.

 

Canon, for the sake of comparison, has close to 120,000 employees. That's "one hundred and twenty thousand" employees.

 

There's a significant difference in scale and resources there. Should be pretty obvious. So while Canon might be able to simply stop a production line and retool to make changes on the fly (a VERY costly proposition), it doesn't surprise me in the least that Leica can't keep up. Now if you see that as a problem, well fine, but that's life for a small company.

 

The point is that we know who we are buying cameras from. Knowing that, I think it's unrealistic to expect them to be part of the new-technology-every-six-months-or-die race that the larger manufacturers have essentially created for themselves. So, unless some incredible progress is being made in the background, and perhaps a world-shattering announcement is made at Photokina (I'm not holding my breath), I suspect that in another year when the big manufacturers have still cameras that can shoot movie frame rates in the light of a black hole, the M8 will still be toodling along with maximum usable ISO of 640 or, in a pinch 1250. One shot at a time.

 

And the images taken within those restrictions are still going to look great.

 

Fine by me ... it's a Leica fer cryin' out loud.

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Jeff

 

This is not a Canon forum so I won't pursue the line . However it was Canon that initially needed convincing because the focus problem only manifested itself in bright daylight.

All those sports photographers shooting night baseball games weren't seeing the problem.

Nor were there any issues on cloudy days. As to the Mark II focusing better - I think all the issues w/ the Mk III heavily tainted opinion. I'll stick with my Mk III.

With respect to Kamber, I think Noah's post is more tempered but addresses the same issues. Yes some have been addressed, others we will have to live with.

 

Peter

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I haven't posted on here in about a year, and I still have my M8. That said, I think the review is spot on. Leica is no longer cutting edge for most professional needs. The M8 has a small subset of strengths: sharpness, good set of fast, prime lenses, small size. But it is far behind the pack in durability, reliability, high ISO performance and price point and is about the same as its competitors ( I almost wrote peers, but that would be wishful thinking) when it comes to shutter noise.

 

Will I keep it? Yep. Will I use it for anything that is critical or fast moving or low light? No way.

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Guest Roel

Kent, In earlier days Leica was a small firm too. But they made great camera's. Like British Leyland, that also refused to stay in progress, it is their own fault that they are behind others.

Having said that I repeat that one should be able to rely on a camera of a price that the M has. It's not only the ISO. It's a list of shortcomings. Leica should have brought the M8 not earlier than after a lot of parctical tests by profs, like it was said here before. It was too hasty and too soon. The IR problem was the most significant example of that. British Leyland went down, how beautiful the cars were. Too old fashioned. If Leica is not quick, it will go the same way. In the meantime we have to pay for their faults.

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This Roel character is funny, very entertaining. 99% is BS, but what the hell, he has something new to bring to the table.

 

Oh no, sorry my memory seems to be fading just one more M8 basing member.

 

Sadly Roel you will grow tired of this forum in a few weeks since you can't start a mob here. Believe me others have tried, and failed, miserably.

 

BTW, when you get tired of the M8 forum, I will happily recommend you a car-enthusiast forum, let's say the BMW M5 forum. Now here you'll find a lot of juice to bash it with, I know a few stories myself. (I'll share, I promise)

 

Otherwise, welcome to the forum, this place really needs one more pro, as yourself, and definitely a pro that makes sure every post he/she wrights include the information that he/she is pro.

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... Furthermore, the exceptional high ISO performance of the newest DSLRs that some people are basing their arguments on didn't even exist when the M8 was introduced (as I remember, the M8's ISO/noise performance was pretty standard at the time). ...

You're right, Kent.

 

At that time as I recall, the 5D was the best performer for high ISO with low noise; for that reason, a lot of reviewers compared the M8's performance with that of the 5D. As I recall, the then current Canon 1 was ranked second in speed/noise performance. Other cameras ranked somewhat lower than the M8.

 

At least one reviewer found that at ISO 640 and lower, the M8 gave cleaner images than the 5D. (Canon won easily above that.)

 

And some folks preferred the particular grain/noise pattern of the M8 at high ISO, considering it more film-like than the noise-reduced Canon's files.

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Much higher up in this thread, Steve Unsworth wrote that:

 

"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."

 

I assume this meant the photographer is the adjustable component - not the viewfinder lines themselves? If the latter, this is a secret that's been kept from me. But now I'm suddenly wondering: Can an old-hand Leica tech (someone like DAG or Sherry Krauter) actually reset the parallax correction from a different starting-point?

 

I for one am not sufficiently adjustable. During the film century I usually printed with black borders. M2-3-4-6 parallax correction wasn't entirely accurate, but close enough that I could make the adjustment in my head. But with the close-focus-distance framelines of the M8, I can't reprogram myself properly; just not enough RAM.

 

Kirk

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As a professional you are for example at a political congress. All your colleagues shoot on 2000 or 3000 ISO what is indeed necessary. You cannot do so, you have a Leica M. The camera that once was famous because of its possibilities in low light conditions. You try it on 1250. One of the politicians is doing something that needs to be shot with motordrive speed. All your colleagues are much, much faster than you are. Besides of that speed, your camera stops after ten images because it needs time for ' writing ' , while the others can go on shooting. JPEG is no option. It's horrible. Than, in another moment.your Leica stops all of the sudden. You cannot find out what it is, the only thing is to remove the battery and place it back again. But you have missed an important moment. And indeed, you have to watch the settings frequently, because they can easily change when the camera touches your body. Because of that touches the glass is also full of scratches, though you treat your camera carefully. Colleagues have a cheap, hard plastic cover to avoid such scratches.

For some shots you need a tele. 2 or 300 mm. Digital. There is no reflex camera to buy from Leica. You can buy red, blue, and golden cameras. A la carte. What has become of that firm?

 

From one POV, only a bloody fool would attempt the scenario you paint. Certainly an experienced Pro would not. OTOH, I can't recall ever seeing such a comical set of parameters that needed such shooting. Machine gunning politicians would be a great sport, but not with a camera. On yet another hand, I have shot under the difficult light etc conditions you allude to but was using an M8. I was permitted relative free movemet but other photogs with "bazzookas" were heavily restricted by the authorities. I had 'bigger' cameras but did not even get them out of the bag. I have never yet found I need to "machine gun" a subject, I use my judgement for timing. It, like the M8, works for me. Each to there own. I am making no reccommendation, just relating actual scenario.

 

Once again, as I have said elswhere (to paraphrase myself), if you can't choose equipment that will do the job, start washing dishes instead!

 

Or to re-iterate a well known saying (strewth, how I hate sayings!) "A poor trademan always blames his tools."

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I assume this meant the photographer is the adjustable component - not the viewfinder lines themselves? If the latter, this is a secret that's been kept from me.
Yes I meant the photographer.

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Before Roel mentions it first. The M8 isn't suitable for a lot of sports photography either. The camera's obviously junk. What is it it good for? Obviously only landfill.

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Before Roel mentions it first. The M8 isn't suitable for a lot of sports photography either. The camera's obviously junk. What is it it good for? Obviously only landfill.

 

Fair go Steve, anyone knows all photography is sport. Nobody takes it seriously . . . do they?

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Guest stnami
. What is it it good for? Obviously only landfill.
... ahh don't really agree here.....some councils are quite particular what goes into landfill

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Fair go Steve, anyone knows all photography is sport. Nobody takes it seriously . . . do they?

 

And while we're at it we may as well scrap all the LF cameras. Not only do they not have auto-focus, they don't even have motor drives! Useless. Why anyone uses them in preference to a Canon 450D - never mind a Nikon D300 is beyond me.

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