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biglouis

So why are so many people selling their M8s?

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aha, now they get into the collectors market where Leica is strongest

 

Yeah , and Coke also has collectors Cola cans to commemorate Beijing 2008

 

PeterP

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Over the years though, digital photography for its speed and ease of use, has taken over the majority of the market. Leica was slow to follow through on this and many people who had film M's sold them off and moved to other brands.

 

When Leica introduced the M8 (and Epson the RD1 a couple of months earlier), it caused a massive stir in the photo world. People used to the film M's switched back to Leica and have been happy pretty much along the way.

 

Andreas

That is exactly what happened to me! I started shooting with film cameras in the 70's. Then I switched to Leica with a M6TTL. Then digital came along and I got interested in that. Point and shoot came first. Then I moved up to DSLRs. But I really wanted to have a digital M Leica. It took a while for me to finally get an M8 but now that I have one I plan on keeping it.

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I don't think there are very many people who would argue that an SLR is "no good for street/documentary photography." But a lot of us would argue that a digital rangefinder like the M8 is certainly a lot more comfortable to carry around all day and a good deal less conspicuous than an SLR. It stands to reason that most street documentary work is done with SLRs because pros have never used Leica M systems nearly as much as SLRs due to cost and what some would consider redundancy (why have another 35mm system?). But in many years of being a professional photographer I don't remember ever encountering another pro who didn't have at least some degree of lust for a Leica M system. If one could buy an M8 and a couple of lenses for $1,500, you'd probably never see anyone using an SLR for street/documentary photography again.

 

Very well put. The glass alone is what drew me to Leica, My attraction has been well placed. And while the M8 does really work well on the down low from the average subject at the opposite end of the camera, the photo enthusiast will practically run through a mine field to come see what you are using.

 

I just feel bad for those wanting to get into Leica now due to the price. It is utterly insane what one has to pay for top fast primes new and a two body combo.

 

Let's do the math based on part of my system shall we, we'll go shopping at B&H....

 

MP, M8, 28 F/2, 35 F1.4, 50 F1.4, three batteries and three 2GB cards, -$500 rebate, right around $22,000.

 

D700, mint FM3A, 28/2 AIS, CZ 35/2, 50 1.2 AIS or CZ 50 1.4, three batteries, three 16 GB cards, $5,800.

 

And as good as Leica glass is, some of the character is cropped where as the Nikons are not, so in some cases, the image quality from the Nikons are actually better than from the M8. One such lens is the 50 1.2. The lens just sings on FX, if you want killer sharp, you use it from F/2 through F/8. But if you want wonderful old world looking bokeh and shallow DOF, you use it at 1.2. Same with the 28/2 AIS. I used that lens on the D700 for an assignment in a rugged area and it was incredible at every aperture and every focus distance, some of the moon and star lit shots were simply in another league.

 

And while I do enjoy the quality of Leica glass on the M8, they simply come to life much, much more with Kodachrome and my M3, MP3 or M6.

 

I just am not able to sell my M8 though, I like it for what it does. But I can honestly see why some want to sell it for when it comes down to flat out producing pictures in the digital realm, there truly are better values for the buck..

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MP, M8, 28 F/2, 35 F1.4, 50 F1.4, three batteries and three 2GB cards, -$500 rebate, right around $22,000.

.

 

As always, that's a legitimate point. But, of course, there are some excellent, and much less expensive, RF lenses that also work well with the M8. The price of the body itself, however, is indeed an obstacle for a lot of photographers.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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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

 

Photographers who are not strongly drawn to rangefinder cameras may migrate but I think that many photographers like myself would only replace an M8 with another DRF that works even better for our purposes. In the absence of that, I certainly would not give up my M8. The way in which one sees and relates to a subject is indeed different with a rangefinder camera and that difference will always be important to some photographers. It is extremely important to me.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Guest noah_addis

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Versatility for me means for example that I choose the f-stop I want for the DOF Iwant and not let the amount of light dictate the DOF in the image.

I also really like the M8 but I would ly if I said I wouldnt wish for better high ISO.

Tom

 

A good point, so for you maybe the best tool is one with high-iso performance. I don't mind slow shutter speeds and shallow DOF in low light, but that's the way I shoot and I would never suggest anyone else's preferences aren't just as valid as mine. Part of being a pro or a serious amateur photographer is choosing the right tool for the job.

 

I'm surprised, most members here talk themselves into the fact that the M8 is a spectacular piece of photographic equipment and either disbelieve -, or argument the fact down to plain stupidity that some person might sell it.

 

The M8 is good, I must give you that, but it definitely isn't the best thing since sliced bread, it's small and unobtrusive and shoots pretty good images most of the time, but it surely isn't perfect. The fact thats it#s a rangefinder ... might be important to some but for most I wouldn't think this would matter ....

 

It matters a lot to me. I don't wish to speak for others, but if rangefinder focusing and viewing didn't matter, I'm not sure why anyone would shoot with an M8.

 

The absolute number one reason I shoot with an M8 (And M6, and MP), is because of the rangefinder system. The quiet shutter and low vibration is nice, but primarily I find that I compose better with rangefinders than with SLRs. Also, I am not great at focusing with SLR cameras, and I find AF annoying.

 

Despite the supposedly inacccurate framelines, I find that my M8 files rarely need to be cropped. My canon files do. I think the RF allows me to see what's in the background of my frame easier so I can notice distracting elements. I personally find it harder to compose and see what's in the background when shooting with my 5d and 24/1.4. I crop those files much more often and I'm more likely to end up with distracting things in the background.

 

Some do better with SLR cameras, and so they are right to choose them. I actually wish I preferred SLRs, since I would have more options to choose from.

 

I was always a Nikon shooter through college and the beginning of my career, I used to think Leica people were just rich collectors. But when my paper went digital and started to provide us with gear, I sold my personal Nikon kit and bought two M6ttl's and some lenses. I thought I had made a huge mistake when I opened the boxes, I thought I would never adapt to the RF focusing. I literally bought them then hopped on a plane to Cuba having never even used an RF camera before. Once I started shooting with them, I instantly felt comfortable and was hooked pretty fast. Quite a few of the pictures on my website were made during that first trip.

 

Most of the work I do now needs to be shot digitally. As much as I love film, it is not an option on deadline for my newspaper or many other publications. Even for personal work, finding the time to process and scan the film is difficult. This is not going to change, it's a digital world now and more and more of our work going forward will only be seen on computer screens. With the M8, though it's not perfect, I get to shoot in the style I prefer with a rangefinder and still meet my deadlines. When I first got it, it felt a little like going back in time. For me the image quality is great, my biggest complaint is that it's a bit slow and could use a bigger buffer. But I'll gladly continue to put up with those issues since I do better work with a rangefinder.

 

Back on topic--I think the used market for M8s is not abnormally large, but I would imagine that a fair number of users bought them without prior RF experience and then decided that SLR cameras were more to their liking. I know and work with a lot of photographers. Some love rangefinders and some hate them, and neither group is right or wrong...

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Noah is right in most ways. If you need a digital M, there is one and given all of it's quirks, it will deliver in the right hands.

 

If the M8 were the world's first digital camera, it would be heralded as the greatest camera on earth.

 

I would like to see some of your work with the M8, your film stuff is strong.....

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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.

 

I find this very telling as the D700 has only been out a little more than a month. If there is an equivalent volume of D700's compared to M8's the owners or prospective owners of D700's should be the ones becoming concerned. I would want to know why!

 

Woody Spedden

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As always, that's a legitimate point. But, of course, there are some excellent, and much less expensive, RF lenses that also work well with the M8. The price of the body itself, however, is indeed an obstacle for a lot of photographers.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

 

It's interesting that before the M8, many said it was all about the glass. The M8 came out and that tune changed a little....whether it was sticker shock in some cases, or that other manufacturers developed better / cheaper glass...who knows. I imagine it's a combo of both. I know in my own case it was a desire for the glass and the build of the cameras.

 

Entry price for a your average pro starting out is certainly prohibitive for a digital M system.

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The absolute number one reason I shoot with an M8 (And M6, and MP), is because of the rangefinder system. The quiet shutter and low vibration is nice, but primarily I find that I compose better with rangefinders than with SLRs. Also, I am not great at focusing with SLR cameras, and I find AF annoying.

Thanks, Noah. I agree 100%! I might add that I am really fond of Leica lenses!!

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