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barjohn

Should Leica Abandon The M8?

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I enjoy a pissing match as much as anybody, but to wander away from this one for a moment, I have a question regarding a proposal further up the forum, that a new digital M have live-view. The question is, "What for?" This is a sincere question, I promise you. I can't figure out for the life of me, why anybody would want live view on a non-auto-focus camera. Maybe, to put it on a tripod and shoot macros?

 

JC

 

1. Critical focus and framing wide open ( on a tripod)

 

2. Accurate preview when using lenses wider than 24mm (WATE and others) when flash is mounted. Used the WATE recently for event coverage it was either the frankenfinder or the flash not both.

 

3. As you mentioned, macro work.

 

4. Use of shift and tilt lenses.

 

5. Magnified focus in dimmed lighting. Especially if your eyes are tired or cannot focus critically with range finder in those conditions.

 

6. Off center focusing when used on a tripod

 

7. Pretending to be a tourist with a low end digital compact.

 

8. More camera information presented than in the viewfinder. Shutter speeds, ISO, exp compensation, histogram, preview of actual exposure.

 

Probably more but for myself, its about making the camera more flexible to be used in other situations. The LCD screen is here to stay, why not use it? The M8 is a great creative tool to be used. If live view extends the boundaries ...

 

Making an M capable of being remotely triggered would be nice for me too!

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Bill, what would your special needs and wants be then?

 

Forgive me if I slip through a time warp and quote my younger self:

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Leica To Develop Digital "M" Camera...

 

Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 04:42 pm:

Here's my shopping list for a digital M:

 

1. Real-time EVF with dioptre adjustment, on to which information can be superimposed, such as frame lines, DFI and shutter speed. I would also like to see three user-definable magnifications - .58, .72 and .85. I would be prepared to forego a direct optical viewfinder for this level of "value-add".

2. Full frame digital sensor - I don't want any magnification of focal lengths per se...

3. ...however, a 2x digital zoom facility would be welcome. The ability to turn my 135 into a 270 when needed would be great.

4. SD storage - they are getting bigger all the time.

5. Bluetooth connectivity (for printing and for direct connection to mobile 'phones - this would encourage photojournalist use).

6. RAW mode as well as TIFF and JPEG.

7. "film speeds" of 100 to 800.

8. Optional AA-battery pack (something like the winder M) to allow the use of cheap rechargeables - the next best thing to battery independence.

9. I would like an M-series form factor, but this is NOT essential; the lenses are the thing.

10. Review screen on the back that can only be operated with the lens removed, to discourage the shoot-check-shoot-check-shoot-check tendency.

11. High speed burst mode.

12. Self cleaning CCD, a la Olympus E1.

13. Weather resistance.

14. Optional b&w viewfinder display.

15. Workable macro mode.

16. Tolerance to extremes of temperature.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Interesting list, Bill, though I think #10 is just you being grumpy, even back then... good to see you haven't changed

 

I don't think an EVF is ever going to bear comparison with the direct view we have in the M8. An EVF would require a live capture sensor to feed it in the first place. Things may have improved since then but does anyone think the Digilux 2 EVF is the way to go? Instead, I think it should be used to inject information into the view in the same way the framelines do now.

 

External battery pack - I agree. I've long advocated clip-on bases to provide alternative power sources, power wind (for a manual wind camera), Wi-Fi (much better than Bluetooth for the data volumes involved) plus a docking station to allow in-camera charging and image download.

 

Agree too about the variable magnification finder, though it should be done with pure optics, not fiddling with an EVF. Big eyepiece too, like the Frankenfinder which I find very comfortable to use.

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1. Critical focus and framing wide open ( on a tripod)

 

2. Accurate preview when using lenses wider than 24mm (WATE and others) when flash is mounted. Used the WATE recently for event coverage it was either the frankenfinder or the flash not both.

 

3. As you mentioned, macro work.

 

4. Use of shift and tilt lenses.

 

5. Magnified focus in dimmed lighting. Especially if your eyes are tired or cannot focus critically with range finder in those conditions.

 

6. Off center focusing when used on a tripod

 

7. Pretending to be a tourist with a low end digital compact.

 

8. More camera information presented than in the viewfinder. Shutter speeds, ISO, exp compensation, histogram, preview of actual exposure.

 

Probably more but for myself, its about making the camera more flexible to be used in other situations. The LCD screen is here to stay, why not use it? The M8 is a great creative tool to be used. If live view extends the boundaries ...

 

Making an M capable of being remotely triggered would be nice for me too!

 

And if the LCD is on an articulated arm or could be flipped up at a 90 deg angle you can use it to shoot at waist level or below or shoot holding the camera over head which can be very useful.

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Interesting list, Bill, though I think #10 is just you being grumpy, even back then... good to see you haven't changed

 

I don't think an EVF is ever going to bear comparison with the direct view we have in the M8. An EVF would require a live capture sensor to feed it in the first place. Things may have improved since then but does anyone think the Digilux 2 EVF is the way to go? Instead, I think it should be used to inject information into the view in the same way the framelines do now.

 

External battery pack - I agree. I've long advocated clip-on bases to provide alternative power sources, power wind (for a manual wind camera), Wi-Fi (much better than Bluetooth for the data volumes involved) plus a docking station to allow in-camera charging and image download.

 

Agree too about the variable magnification finder, though it should be done with pure optics, not fiddling with an EVF. Big eyepiece too, like the Frankenfinder which I find very comfortable to use.

 

 

Mark, I agree with you about the EVF and Wi-Fi. The world has moved on. My point in quoting myself is to demonstrate how little has actually changed. The M8 does tick some of the items on my list, but there are others that I would still like to see. They don't all have to be ticked with the M9 for me to buy it, but some do. The one I didn't list, and I really should have, in retrospect, was a plea for something that fits well in the hand. Even though I have large hands this is one of the elements of the M8 that really doesn't work for me and I would like to see improved in the future. I am not wedded to the film M shape, but I do feel it is more comfortable and better proportioned than the M8.

 

Oh, and "grumpy"...? Moi?

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Sounds like you guys need something else than an M, am I wrong?

 

Leica and Zeiss made waist level viewfinders for their RF cameras. I sometimes use an old Zeiss WL finder on my M8. The M3 brought improved quicker focusing and a more accurate finder over the screw mount Leicas.

 

The M8 has not yet reached the bar set by the M3 decades ago in terms of a viewfinder that could be used with both eyes open, frameline accuracy, smooth shutter release and noise level of shutter. I should think after 40 years or so we could expect some small baby steps forward.

 

Now that the M is a digital device I should also think that Leica should find ways to take advantage of the technology to advance the mission of the camera. I use an M not because I'm looking for some retro affectation but because RF shooting does have some real world advantages over SLR's still today.

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So I say abandon the M8 and move into the 21st century and leap frog the competition. It is time to know when to quit flogging that old nag and get a thoroughbred if you want to win the race.

 

Apologies for the delayed response. I am not a M8 owner but I do think the original proposition in this thread is misplaced. Leica has had an evolutionary approach to development although some increments were larger than others e.g. M3/M2 and, to my mind, the M8. I agree this is no way to "win the race" against Canon and Nikon. It has led Leica into a niche market. It is not possible to jump to the front of the big race and it is better to doggedly develop that niche. I look forward to that development of the M camera into the digital age.

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Sounds like you guys need something else than an M, am I wrong?

 

No you're not wrong. And this has been the major plague in the Rangefinder fora: People that want a M camera to be something else. Like an integrated Capuccino machine.

 

I said it and I'll say it again: If the next M9 doesn't look like the old Ms, I'm out of the game and probably many others. M5 History all over again...

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Guest Ridder Cornelius

This forum is becoming an absurdity....

 

You all wonder why people come here and "oil the fire" a bit .... well because it's so easily done, just the mention of the left bottom screw under the second cover of the battery compartment being a bit "off colour" will attract 200+ or so responses.....

 

Reading other forums on the internet the Leica forum has become known for this kind of "particular" behavior and therefor is frequented by "bored" internet browsers just wanting a laugh .... which they are surely guaranteed getting. I don't understand the "die-hard" Leica aficionados not realizing the fact that hey are being wound up (to put it mildly)... but then again it is quite entertaining for a quiet evening.

 

Leica will not abandon the M8 for it is a top product, and everybody knows that deep in their heart so why go to all the trouble defending this, so the D3 shoot at higher ISO levels, who gives a cats fiddle, there are quite a few better cameras out there, you use Leica, you obviously like using it so why do you always have to bend over backwards to defend that fact?

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No you're not wrong. And this has been the major plague in the Rangefinder fora: People that want a M camera to be something else. Like an integrated Capuccino machine.

 

I said it and I'll say it again: If the next M9 doesn't look like the old Ms, I'm out of the game and probably many others. M5 History all over again...

 

I agree,the M9 should be an M8 adapted to developing technology. It probably will be.

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Too funny, Ridder. Too funny.

 

Have you ever asked yourself why people buy Leicas? Why do they buy such a simple camera? As far as I know, people become Leicaphiles because of the camera's simple design with no promise of modernization. Why do people start to ask for more technology, all of a sudden, is beyond me. There is Nikon and Canon for that, for instance.

So why, why do people buy Leicas if they criticize it so much? Those people are pathetic much more then the Leica defenders.

 

Think about it.

 

 

 

Reading other forums on the internet the Leica forum has become known for this kind of "particular" behavior and therefor is frequented by "bored" internet browsers just wanting a laugh .... which they are surely guaranteed getting. I don't understand the "die-hard" Leica aficionados not realizing the fact that hey are being wound up (to put it mildly)... but then again it is quite entertaining for a quiet evening.

 

Leica will not abandon the M8 for it is a top product, and everybody knows that deep in their heart so why go to all the trouble defending this, so the D3 shoot at higher ISO levels, who gives a cats fiddle, there are quite a few better cameras out there, you use Leica, you obviously like using it so why do you always have to bend over backwards to defend that fact?

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Have you ever asked yourself why people buy Leicas? Why do they buy such a simple camera? As far as I know, people become Leicaphiles because of the camera's simple design with no promise of modernization.

 

Ned, speak for yourself, eh?

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Ned, speak for yourself, eh?

 

Regards,

 

Bill

 

 

Did you really become a Leicaphile in hopes that it would have 8fps and autofocus one day?

 

Regards,

 

Ned

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Ned, it's a camera, not a religion. It's a tool, not an icon. My point was to suggest that you should not assume everyone shares your personal views, as you discovered on RFF.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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++.

 

Thanks Vıerı.

 

Second that. And a less noisy sensor, too, please

 

 

 

How about sandstorms?

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Ned, it's a camera, not a religion. It's a tool, not an icon. My point was to suggest that you should not assume everyone shares your personal motivations.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

 

But who mentioned religion and Icons besides you? Certainly not me. Please don't try to deform the reality.

 

The problem here is your subjectivity. You seem to understand what you want to understand and then sarcastically attack other people.

 

And I think I understand Leica more then you. This is why I don't constantly criticize them. Leica for some things, a DLSR for other things. You may wish to shoot macro with your Leica Ms, but that is you, I guess.

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No you're not wrong. And this has been the major plague in the Rangefinder fora: People that want a M camera to be something else...

Something else?

I've been using Leica M's for 30+ years and i'm still out of the game because the M8 does not work like the old M's precisely.

The M8-2 or M9 will become an M, at last, when it 'abandons' its mandatory filters, when it 'abandons' its mandatory coding, when it 'adandons' its mandatory chimping and when it 'abandons' a shutter noise and a moiré rendition that none of us or our fathers would have accepted from a Leica half a century ago.

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