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Kent10D

The Dreaded M8 & D700 ... um ... "Thing"!

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So what's the point of this comparison? To show that the M8 and D700 are both capable of producing pictures of equivalent quality in studio lighting? Personally I don't think I'd have invested any time in discovering the obvious :-)

 

The D700 is a fine camera. So is the M8. But they each play to different strengths. I'd be more interested in a comparison that explored their boundaries, not their similarities.

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I suppose. But you couldn't do the equivalent with a D3 and one of Nikon's pro-line f2.8 zooms, which are supposedly about as sharp as their primes. That is, if you assume that the M8 is pretty good to ISO 800, and then give yourself the extra 3 stops provided by the Nocti, that's about the same shooting the Nikon at ISO 6400 with a 2.8, an the image quality, at that point, isn't so great. Not that I don't agree with your basic idea -- the D3 sensor in an M9 would blow everything else away, given the available Leica lenses...

 

JC

 

Use the 85 f1.4, or the 50 f1.4, and there you go - up to 3200 ISO is fantastic, and 6400 is very very good if you expose properly. Only 1 stop slower than the Nocti, but 2-3 stop higher usable ISO. If you want to stick with a zoom, use the 70-200 VR and due to the VR 1-2 stop advantage you are still in better shape in low light than with the M8 + Nocti. The M8 is good, but for low light shooting nothing beats the D3 at the moment.

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But who would want to?

 

Confession. Once upon a time I used to take a Pentax ME Super on holiday to Greece or Turkey with a 28-200 zoom, and shoot almost everything with a polarizing filter at f8. I also used to produce boring photographs. No change there some might say.

 

Steven, You're perfectly right IMO.

By the way, I just bought an ND 8 filter, to be able to shoot at f1.4 even in a sunny day in the Death Valley next weeks...

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Why a d 700 over a d3 , well weight . Mind you I shoot canons and leica m's. Comparisons well if I want a slr I take one if I want a rangefinder I take one. Nothing beats a d3 well if I want a f 1.4 look then alot beats a d3 . Also I hated the shadow noise on the d3 at 6400 and like the mk111 noise at 3200 . also nikon has no fast wideangle primes. So again depends on what kind of a look you want .

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I too am at a loss to understand why the D700 is seen as an alternative to an M8.

 

Feel free to read my post above..then if you don't understand, read it aloud to someone else. Then if you still don't understand, just be a good sport and move on to more important things in life..:-).

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But it (the M8) is so much lighter and more compact!

 

When compared side by side, yes. But when in real world pro use, not so much...

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I suppose. But you couldn't do the equivalent with a D3 and one of Nikon's pro-line f2.8 zooms, which are supposedly about as sharp as their primes. That is, if you assume that the M8 is pretty good to ISO 800, and then give yourself the extra 3 stops provided by the Nocti, that's about the same shooting the Nikon at ISO 6400 with a 2.8, an the image quality, at that point, isn't so great.

 

I call false on this one....big time!

 

The best kept secret in the Nikon game is the 50mm 1.2 AIS. Maybe I just won the "lens-lottery" or something but that lens at 1.2 on either my D3 or D700 is outrageous! It is tack sharp right to the sides and actually has a very nice pictorial old world glow that does not kill the sharpness at all. And the bokeh...wow.....!

 

And, in less than 6 months, they are going to introduce a whole host of fast primes which are reported to be among the best ever for any format.

 

I love my M8, but man, you guys have got to be more open minded and feed your self something other than Koolaid...

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But who would want to?

 

I am always blown away by this kind of question...

 

Try to be more open minded. Instead of asking why someone would want to do that, say wow, imagine what a person could do with that?

 

Key word is imagination, use it....

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When compared side by side, yes. But when in real world pro use, not so much...

 

Jeepers ... I don't know what you pros use to weigh and measure stuff, but my little electronic scales tell me that the M8 with the Zeiss Planar 50 on it weighs 910 grams, whereas the D700 with the 24-70 f/2.8 on it weighs 2,173 grams. If I then use my handy little electronic calculator to divide 2,173 by 910 I find that the former is approximately 2.4 times heavier than the latter.

 

And then I whip out my amateur ruler and discover that, LCD screen to end of lens hood, the M8 with the Zeiss is about 105 mm, while the D700 plus 24-70 is around 255 mm. Simple division tells me once again that is a little more than 2.4 times.

 

That, by my amateur estimation is a pretty big difference.

 

But anyway, thanks for the NX2 tip. I'll be looking into that.

 

Cheers.

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I am also one of these who find the comparison interesting and also do use both, Leica and Nikon.

In the end I believe the differences in low ISO quality are small and in high ISO quality I find the M8 usable up to 640 ISO and the D3 up to 3200 ISO (for my taste).

So I would say its more about the camera system rangefinder vs AF and size.

 

Now what I really wonder: If I look at images from the Nikon 14-24, 24-70, 85,105,135 and 200mm lenses and those from the M8 with the qeuivalent focal length I start to doubt that we really see that much of an advantage (if any?) in sharpness/detail/character of the expensive Leica lenses compared to the Nikons.

 

And were not the lenses one of the big arguments for Leica? I have the feeling that Canon and Nikon (and others) have "closed the gap" in optical quality or at least reduced the gap.

 

Cheers, Tom

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OK I'll just say it: for any real-life photography the difference in image quality is negligible. At higher ISOs however, the D3 leaves the M8 in the dust!!! Please, please,please, give me a sensor upgrade for the M8, so I can shoot at ISO 1250 with my Noctilux and get good color pictures. Save yourselves the time responding with examples of color images taken at ISO 1250. Because in any situation that you actually need ISO 1250 (dim artificial light), the M8 is inadequate. And again, I ONLY use the M8 and I shoot a lot. The only answer I expect from this post is an answer from Leica in the form of a sensor upgrade.

Hmm....It is not the sensor, it is the computing... The D3 has indeed better in-camera noise reduction than the M8 - I doubt that there is much difference in the signal coming off the sensor. I am doubtful that the M8 has the computing power to do the same - so we are stuck with out-of-camera noise reduction, irrespective of a highly hypothetical sensor upgrades.

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Hmm....It is not the sensor, it is the computing... The D3 has indeed better in-camera noise reduction than the M8 - I doubt that there is much difference in the signal coming off the sensor. I am doubtful that the M8 has the computing power to do the same - so we are stuck with out-of-camera noise reduction, irrespective of a highly hypothetical sensor upgrades.

 

Jaap,

 

The D3/D700 sensor has BIG PIXELS. Something close to 9 microns, as I remember, as compared to the M8's 6.8 microns. That means a significantly cleaner signal from the sensor before any processing happens.

 

I could be wrong. Perhaps some of the forum techies could straighten us out.

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Jaap,

 

The D3/D700 sensor has BIG PIXELS. Something close to 9 microns, as I remember, as compared to the M8's 6.8 microns. That means a significantly cleaner signal from the sensor before any processing happens.

 

I could be wrong. Perhaps some of the forum techies could straighten us out.

 

that would be difficult, because they have what? 20mp? They do have more surface though.

 

Ha! they have 13mp only, which means more or less the same pixl size

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that would be difficult, because they have what? 20mp? They do have more surface though.

 

Ha! they have 13mp only, which means more or less the same pixl size

 

The D3 and D700 are 12.1 mp on a full-frame chip. Furthermore, it's not simple arithmetic. The design and layout of the on-chip circuitry is also a determining factor in maximum pixel size. From what I can gather the D3/D700 pixels are 8.45 microns. The M8 pixels are 6.8 microns I think.

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If it was simply computing, then noise reduction in post could do the job. It is not. Any post-noise reduction leads to a loss of detail. I do believe it is the sensor, and not just the size because the D300 is cleaner at high ISO as well.

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Jeepers ... I don't know what you pros use to weigh and measure stuff, but my little electronic scales tell me that the M8 with the Zeiss Planar 50 on it weighs 910 grams, whereas the D700 with the 24-70 f/2.8 on it weighs 2,173 grams. If I then use my handy little electronic calculator to divide 2,173 by 910 I find that the former is approximately 2.4 times heavier than the latter.

 

And then I whip out my amateur ruler and discover that, LCD screen to end of lens hood, the M8 with the Zeiss is about 105 mm, while the D700 plus 24-70 is around 255 mm. Simple division tells me once again that is a little more than 2.4 times.

 

That, by my amateur estimation is a pretty big difference.

 

But anyway, thanks for the NX2 tip. I'll be looking into that.

 

Cheers.

 

Gosh Kent, I get your amateur humor! But I wonder how the scales and measurements go if you actually do a comparison. What does an M8 with a 24, 28, 35, 50, and 70 weigh and how large is the kit (and price tag) compared to the D700 with the 24-70? If you were a pro, I think you would need to carry more than one focal length but if you only wanted to take a 50 on the Leica, maybe you only want to take a 50 on the Nikon?

 

Joe

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J

That, by my amateur estimation is a pretty big difference.

 

Three postage stamps are three times as heavy as one...but it doesn't bother you any more to carry three than it does to carry one. The point being that the D700 isn't so heavy as to be a nuisance. The D3, on the other hand, *is* a nuisance -- someplace between the two, IMHO, you cross a line where weight and size begin to make a functional difference. I have both a D3 and a D300, and I find myself using the D300 more and more simply because of the weight aspect. I don't notice weight with the D300, while the D3 feels like a brick around my neck. The M8 is nice to use, and perfect for some things; but you also give up a lot.

 

JC

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whereas the D700 with the 24-70 f/2.8 on it weighs 2,173 grams.

 

The 24-70? Good god man, that lens is a pig with short focus throw, I don't care how sharp it is, I will never own 24mm 2.8 lens the size of a motar round.

 

Try comparing to a more reasonable lens like the Nikon 85 F/2 to be nearly direct in comparison to the Zeiss 50 on the M8.

 

You have to look at pragmatics here, the 24-70 is no walk around lens and the Zeiss 50 is no weekend wedding warrior zoom.

 

Comparing the two just to get the same 66mm is not really a fair way to do that in terms of weight.

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It is a long weekend in British Columbia - celebrating 150 years as a province in Canada, as it works out there are a large number of festivals, etc. Although this year saw some of my favorites canceled for some reason...

 

To the point, on Saturday we stopped at the Powell St. Japanese Festival and I had the D700 and 35 F2, 50 F1.4 and 85 F1.4 no zooms. All autofocus Nikkor lenses.

 

Yesterday we decided to head off to do some shooting and ended up at the second day of the same festival I had an M8 with a MATE (older version) a 90mm APO Summicron, and the 15mm CV. I ran into Tom and Tuulikki A. and Tom let me play with his 18mm F4 ZM lens - it is on the big side but beautiful.

 

(Of course I shot most everything at 400 on the D700 and 320 on the M8 - great weather/light here on the coast.)

 

There is a difference in size of kit - no doubt about that but not overwhelming. As has been pointed out I coud have just brought the 24-70 F2.8 (not to be confused with the 28-70 a very large lens) with the D700 without having to worry about switching lenses. Frankly the MATE was more than adequate for most things I shot - in the case of both cameras you have a lot of room to crop without to much degredation in either case.

 

Yesterday there were a number of martial arts demos - and it would have been nice to have the D700 70-200 F2.8 tracking autofocus yada yada yada (substitue 5D or whatever DSLR or SLR you use). That said I did manage to get a couple of shots that took a lot of cropping with the M8.

 

Moral of the story for me - it is all good fun and I concluded it is all what you want and what works, etc. I just love the M8 and like to shoot with it. I have to work a bit harder but there is just something right about it (for me).

 

Japanese Festival 08 - a set on Flickr

 

Best to all. Terry

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The 24-70? Good god man, that lens is a pig with short focus throw, I don't care how sharp it is, I will never own 24mm 2.8 lens the size of a motar round.

 

"Mortar round" ... that's pretty funny (and not entirely inaccurate).

OK, I admit that the 24-70 f/2.8 is a brick of a lens, but it is a stellar performer, and the only Nikkor I currently own that is comparable to Zeiss or Leica optics (the 24-120 "kit" lens is a bit of a dog IMHO). The whole point was to have one medium zoom that will cover most stuff. It does the trick quite nicely.

 

Gosh Kent, I get your amateur humor! But I wonder how the scales and measurements go if you actually do a comparison. What does an M8 with a 24, 28, 35, 50, and 70 weigh and how large is the kit (and price tag) compared to the D700 with the 24-70? If you were a pro, I think you would need to carry more than one focal length but if you only wanted to take a 50 on the Leica, maybe you only want to take a 50 on the Nikon?

 

And I get your point, but I kind of doubt that even a Leica-shooting pro would carry that many lenses in that range. Maybe two. Maybe three. The nice thing about M glass is that you hardly notice a lens or two in your pockets. And no, I'm not really taking sides on this issue at all. There are obviously benefits both ways (obvious to me, anyway).

 

Cheers.

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