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biglouis

So why are so many people selling their M8s?

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I remain surprised to see so many s/h M8s coming onto the market. It is probably a gross generalisation but there are a number of "my backup M8 which I don't need" ads. So does that mean that the M8 is such a stellar, dependable performer that pros do not need backups? Of the others in the Buy/Sell section here, at RFF and on e-Bay a lot do not have reasons for sale but they are recent purchases. If I had the spare dough I wouldn't mind a chrome one as a backup!

 

LouisB

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Guest stnami

Epson RF forum is saying the same about the Epson RD-1 .................homeward bound on the Nikon trail:eek:

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Sorry to be a pedant here LouisB and not trying to be funny, but the "many" in your statement concerns me. I could easily retort and say, but "many more" are not for sale!

 

I don't think there is a real answer to your query. "Stuff" and "gear" will always be for sale, I suspect because of the 'human condition' rather than the 'gear condition', if you see what I mean. We are restless souls always hankering after something better or different. I think it just may be that simple.

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"All of the above" of course, but there are many more Nikons & Canons for sale! So what do numbers prove?

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Nikon's high ISO performing sensor, reduction in size of the D3 to D700, and two very fine wide angles (14-24 + 24-70) coupled with a handful of stellar performing ZF lenses has given every other manufacturer some serious competition in this focal length range. If Nikon can manage to launch a few high quality 1.4 primes at Photokina, this will nicely round out their product line.

 

I won't be selling my M8 + ZM kit, but I will no longer be adding to it either. I had a chance to play around with the D700 and new ZF 18/3.5 and I was extremely impressed how low profile this outfit was (even with the 82 mm thread of the ZM). I don't consider it a replacement for the M8, but rather an additional tool that expands my capabilities for street photography and urban themes in general. I think of it as the camera which will pick up where the M8 leaves off.

 

One other point is performance and the number of tools at ones disposal per dollar value. A D700 + 18/3.5 ZF runs about CDN $4600. An M8 + WATE will set you back CDN $11,000. Consider a D700 + 14-24 + 24-70 + ZF 18/3.5 + ZF 35/2 and you are still at only CDN $8900. Now, does the M8 + WATE run circles around this four lens kit in terms of performance (i.e. sensor + lens) and versatility?

 

Again, before I get flogged, I love my M8 and ZM kit. The IQ is fantastic, the versatility is not. The discreetness is second to none, and I have been able to capture images with this set-up which would have been difficult if not impossible with a DSLR. Having said this, I have had to walk away from situations because the sensor performance was just not up to task. And then there is that ephemeral bond that one forms with a Leica that I just never had when I owned Canon DSLRs. It is a relationship that is difficult to describe. Perhaps part of it is derived from the fact that I own a camera that actually requires some level of skill to operate, not easily emulated by some DSLR toting yuppie soccer Mom (no kidding...last evening I was shocked to see this lady pull out a 1DMIII and 100-400 to take pictures of her son playing soccer. I asked her if she was a pro to which she laughed and said, naw, my husband bought me this so I could take pictures of my son playing soccer...at the end of the game I watched as she loaded her gear and kids into the Range Rover

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Guest noah_addis
...Again, before I get flogged, I love my M8 and ZM kit. The IQ is fantastic, the versatility is not....

 

What's so great about versatility? Seriously, if your work does not require the latest superwide/macro/long tele glass or super-high iso, an M8 and ONE lens (or a few) can do a lot. As a pro doing street work and documentary projects, I don't need much more than a small manual camera with a 28mm fast lens. Tri-x is my only film and so the ability to shoot at iso 320/400 is all I ever need. So with the M8 I'm happier than I ever have been with a digital system.

 

The new Nikons are great, and a probable upcoming new Canon 5D replacement should be great too. I find that the image quality of the M8 is high enough that camera choice comes down to shooting preferences. I do better work with rangefinders since I like the bright clear finder and I like that I can see what's going on in the background easier than I can when viewing through a fast slr lens. Others like slr cameras and/or need long glass, and so their preferences are different and every bit as valid as mine. But the argument that one system is 'better' than the other at this point is academic.

 

I'm waiting for photokina to see what's new, but plan to pick up a backup M8, so I hope the secondhand market continues to grow.

 

My M8 has performed flawlessly, but as pro I need a backup or two no matter how reliable my camera is.

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Noah, I find versatility can play a key role in creativity. I agree with the one lens philosophy and zooming with your feet. I do this all the time with the M8 and Mamiya 7 + 65/4. But there have been many instances when this just is not possible. Sitting on a Subway for example....from a fixed position it is very handy to have a zoom (and high ISO performance) . IMHO, the most interesting characters rarely "park it" in the most agreeable composition. Therefore, the capability to zoom adds versatility to the toolkit.

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Noah,

 

Just checked out your website. Stellar images! Glad to hear your M8 has performed under such shooting conditions.

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I think that the M8 is a camera that you either hate or love, I find it naturally that some people will sell it again and maybe I will too.

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I believe it has very little to do with the camera itself; it's all the hours and hours of computer junk one has to do after the exposure.

And Leica has done nothing to soften the blow of all this hateful keyboard work: they have not built the community by offering us any help on figuring out the very many color manageemnt issues if one wants to operate at a pro level.

 

Will someone please write this cookbook please: "M8 + PhotoShop for professional results."

 

-g

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Yes they have - they have kept their film cameras in their catalogue and you can shoot slide film if you want to do nothing more after pressing the shutter. If you don't want to have the "hassle" of post-processing, don't shoot digital at all. It would be no different if you bought a camera of any other brand. Anyway, there's no need for a Leica-specific book - there's nothing "special" about M8 files that need different treatment from any other RAW file

 

I would recommend that you buy the book Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers: A Professional Image Editor's Guide to the Creative Use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC

 

It is a superb book.

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Sorry to be a pedant here LouisB and not trying to be funny, but the "many" in your statement concerns me. I could easily retort and say, but "many more" are not for sale!

 

I don't think there is a real answer to your query. "Stuff" and "gear" will always be for sale, I suspect because of the 'human condition' rather than the 'gear condition', if you see what I mean. We are restless souls always hankering after something better or different. I think it just may be that simple.

 

One could just as well ask: why do so many people want a divorce?

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One could just as well ask: why do so many people want a divorce?

 

 

Exactly....

 

Within a month of the Nikon D3 (add the name of any other consumer item here) being introduced I noticed people trying to sell them off on various web based classified and auction sites. It actually surprised me, it shouldn't have - but this is life and times.

 

Best. Terry.

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Noah,

 

Just checked out your website. Stellar images! Glad to hear your M8 has performed under such shooting conditions.

 

Noah, I too very much enjoyed your website. Very moving images!

 

Dubois

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Guest noah_addis

Jeff--thanks for the kind words.

 

I didn't mean to bad mouth zooms or anyone else's choice of kit or shooting style. I should have said that for *me* versatility isn't important, I want one camera that does what I need it to do very well and I don't care if it's not particularly suited to other kinds of photography. If I need to shoot in another style, I'll use a different tool (or more likely recommend a different photographer).

 

Also, for the way I shoot, I don't need high-iso since I like slow shutter speeds. Sometimes even slight subject movement can add interesting depth and character to a photograph. I don't believe everything has to be tack sharp. I used to use different films (and of course have tested lots of films and developers) but at this point I only use tri-x for my film work, so being able to get good results out of the M8 at 640 is already more than I need.

 

I have some zooms from my newspaper, but don't use them unless I have to. I find they make me lazy and give me too many things to think about when shooting. I somehow spend more time thinking about how to frame and less time looking for moments. Again, some people are great at using zooms, I'm just not one of them.

 

My original point still stands though, I think for most people the choice between an M8 and a dslr has more to do with shooting style (and, unfortunately, budget), than strict performance measures.

 

Grober--you might have a point, lots of people might have run out to buy an M8 thinking that digital is simple. Dealing with Leica DNG files is not too different from other camera raw files though, so there should be lots of resources out there to help.

 

As someone sitting on 100 rolls of tri-x waiting to be edited and scanned from a recent two-week shooting trip, I have to say digital is a HUGE time-saver for the way I work personally. Of course slide shooters or those who use labs for printing are in for a big shock and will be spending lots of time behind a computer. Some people prefer computer time to darkroom time, but I'm not one of those people...

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I find they [zooms] make me lazy and give me too many things to think about when shooting. I somehow spend more time thinking about how to frame and less time looking for moments. Again, some people are great at using zooms, I'm just not one of them.

 

I no longer own or use any zooms for my Canon dSLRs (and none for my M8!) and as a direct result I am learning to appreciate far more careful compositional skills again. This suits MY style of photography but not everyone's of course.

 

As to the question, you could ask the same of most highly capable digital cameras - most current models are readily available used within a few weeks of their release date.

 

I would say though, that perhaps the M8 does require more user (photographer) input than many cameras - IMHO this is actually a distinct asset - but the world demands more automation and ease of use generally these days, not less, so this might just be why some M8s are disposed of.

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I see seven on eBay right now (there are six Nikon D-700s, for comparison), and I've only ever seen two used cameras at my local dealer since the introduction of the model. Not exactly a fire sale, I'd say. Typing "Nikon d-300" into eBay search returns more than 2,800 matches; I'm not going to check how many are cameras and how many are accessories, but I think Leica owners aren't abnormally dissatisfied.

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After starting this thread I realised an error in my thinking. I was looking at the Buy/Sell section on this site where on the first page there are 5 M8s for sale - only I did not look closely and see that these ads go all the way back to June. Still, I am always surprised when I see an M8 for sale - I don't know why.

 

LouisB

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