Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest malland

Some thoughts on the M8.2 after 2-1/2 weeks

Recommended Posts

....I'd suggest going to manual exposure and just reading the light as one does with older Leica Ms. It is easy enough to keep the highlights where you want them and then just let the shadows fall where they may......

 

Mitch - I think the metering can be a bit of a personal battleground [i really prefer Nikon metering for example]. Initially, I used the M8 with manual 'mid-grey' metering as I always have and became exasperated. Next I tried auto metering and was driven nuts by that. Finally, I found the happiest compromise for me; I meter the brightest highlights with a +1 2/3 exposure setting and get optimum histograms in outdoor conditions [i hate blown highlights]. It works for me, maybe try it?

 

............... Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
Perhaps we need a "Blog" section.
Andy, for that, there may be too many "hams" here like me.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland

]

...I'd suggest going to manual exposure and just reading the light as one does with older Leica Ms. It is easy enough to keep the highlights where you want them and then just let the shadows fall where they may. I've actually found the metering in the M8 to be excellent but I imagine that the way I *use* metering may be different from the ways in which some others use it. For my work, I've never found matrix metering to work any better than the simple system in the Leica.

 

I tend to start a period of shooting in aperture priority for a few frames, watching the histogram for each of them. That gives me my bearings, so to speak, and then I normally move to manual and tweak exposure intuitively. Whatever the dynamic range differences may be between film and the M8, this process is still the same...

Sean, yes, this is the approach that I used for years with the M6. However, I found that shooting with the GRD/GRD2 liberated and transformed my street photography. And I am now trying to apply those lessons to shooting with the M8. Don't get me wrong: I like this camera, but find that the metering the getting the horizon level with external wide-angle viewfinders (21 and 25mm) are the greatest impediments I'm finding to do what I want. Usually, I don't care about level horizons as I often slant them, but here I'm at the seaside...An "electronic level" as in the GRD2 is an excellent solution, which, incidentally, I've never had to use because I have no difficulty leveling when framing with the LCD.

 

I appreciate that it may be difficult, or perhaps impossible to have matrix metering on the M8, but wrote about this to see what other people thought.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Flickr: Mitch Alland's Photostream

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with the poster. Any camera with Snapshot mode seems like it naturally should have matrix metering

 

Ah I wish I'd thought of putting it this way - some humor always helps. I'll just have to settle for grumpy instead - by saying that matrix metering would (imho) introduce yet another tier of complication and in-camera processing, both of which most M users have chosen this particular and unique system in order to avoid.

 

Oh and i forgot the 'electronic level' idea - sorry Mitch, but it seems like if you're using extreme wide-angles and can use hyperfocal focussing (and can therefore more or less dispense with the viewfinder), don't want to meter yourself (there goes manual) and want add-ons like an electronic horizon then I hope you don't take offense if I wonder why you chose the M8? Maybe that sounds harsh and I don't want it to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matrix metering is not the "M" way.

 

Nor is having a spirit level in the camera.

 

Ms have other attractions, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest volkerm
Matrix metering is not the "M" way.

 

Digital was not the "M" way

Automatic exposure was not the "M" way

Built-in metering was not the "M" way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Digital was not the "M" way

Automatic exposure was not the "M" way

Built-in metering was not the "M" way

 

Andy uses an M2 that meets none of those criteria <grin>.

 

Being serious, I can't say I've noticed any more exposure errors with my M8 that I did with my Canon 5D. Perhaps I've been lucky, I've no idea.

 

As for the level, my experience has been that if the horizon isn't straight it's usually always in the same direction and fairly consistent in its severity. In my case downwards from left to right. It's reasonably easy to consciously compensate for this, and after a while it becomes an unconscious correction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being serious, I can't say I've noticed any more exposure errors with my M8 that I did with my Canon 5D. Perhaps I've been lucky, I've no idea.

.

 

My M8 delivers consistently better exposures than my Canon 40D. I think it's because -- when necessary -- it's easier to second-guess the M8's meter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
The automatic and manual exposure controls on the M8 have been perfectly adequate for my street shooting needs. It certainly isn't 'broke' and doesn't need the matrix metering of a P&S camera in capable hands.

 

Mitch, can I respectfully suggest that you give the M8.2 more than 2 weeks before you start doing a full re-design. After three months, I think you may learn to love it as it is...

So far the automatic exposure controls have not worked well for my street photography: see my response to Sean above.

 

Actually, two weeks is enough for me to have an idea of the problems I see, as I shot for years with an M6. After all, I haven't said that I don't like the camera and want to bail out.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Flickr: Mitch Alland's Photostream

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From what I've heard, Nikon and others (Ricoh?) use an extra sensor just for the matrix metering. Yes, this would definitely be an interesting technical challenge, but judging from what Dr. Kaufmann said in his recent LFI interview, I somehow think the M9 might be quite different from the M8 anyway.

 

Now, they'll only have to find the sweet spot where enough people like the new design and/or still view it as a "real" M Leica. (Think M5!)

 

Well, I bet compact P&S's just monitor the actual sensor data. It's always being fed with light.

 

SLRs, digital or not, probably use a (half silvered) mirror somewhere in the path to divert off some light for autofocus and for exposure. For all I know, the metering might be off of the main SLR mirror, which is sent into the prism and into the metering chip. Actually I think that is probably how it works. The point being that dSLRs probably have 3 sensors in them - AF, metering, and imaging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
Ah I wish I'd thought of putting it this way - some humor always helps. I'll just have to settle for grumpy instead - by saying that matrix metering would (imho) introduce yet another tier of complication and in-camera processing, both of which most M users have chosen this particular and unique system in order to avoid.

 

Oh and i forgot the 'electronic level' idea - sorry Mitch, but it seems like if you're using extreme wide-angles and can use hyperfocal focussing (and can therefore more or less dispense with the viewfinder), don't want to meter yourself (there goes manual) and want add-ons like an electronic horizon then I hope you don't take offense if I wonder why you chose the M8? Maybe that sounds harsh and I don't want it to.

Actually, you sound positively dyspeptic. Matrix metering may not be possible on a version of the M8, but IMHO should be a part of the M9.

 

On the "electronic spirit level", if a tiny camera like the GRD2 can have it there is no reason that an M8 or M9 cannot. Not using a viewfinder makes it virtually impossible to keep a camera consistently level with super-wide lenses.

 

Maybe I'm not a good enough photographer in your eyes to deserve to use an M8, but what is of concern to me, as I've stated in a post above, is that I've made great strides in my street photography since using the GRD/GRD2 and am trying to see, in adopting the M8, how not to lose the "looseness and fluidity" of style that I have gained. Sure, I can estimate exposure or meter the way that I did with the M6 but, for my type of street photography, which is often at very close distances, 0.8-1.0 meters, the M8 metering has so far proved too cumbersome — there simply isn't time to meter to the right or left or above or below the subject, half-press the shutter and bring it back on the subject and trip the shutter. In most cases with the GRD2 I had no such problem.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland

In the light of the foregoing I think that I should summarise, after a mere 2-1/2 weeks, the things that I would like to see changed or improved on the M82.:

 

1. Manual ISO setting along the line of the EV adjutment.

 

2. Display of the ISO, aperture and shutter speed in the viewfinder, If that makes the viewfinder too cluttered, as is likely, these parameters should be viewable at the user's option, the way shutter speed is now viewable.

 

3. Matrix metering facility.

 

4. "Electronic level" as on the GRD2.

 

5. Lens identification in firmware, through a menu, similar to that on top-end Nikon cameras, as an alternative to lens coding.

 

If you think that "real men" don't need these things, that's fine for you, but I don't think I should need to look for a hair shirt to use a digital-M, which, after all, is a digital camera.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, you sound positively dyspeptic...

 

Maybe I'm not a good enough photographer in your eyes to deserve to use an M8, but what is of concern to me, as I've stated in a post above, is that I've made great strides in my street photography since using the GRD/GRD2 and am trying to see, in adopting the M8, how not to lose the "looseness and fluidity" of style that I have gained... In most cases with the GRD2 I had no such problem.

 

Let's not fall out Mitch - I've seen and liked your images for a long time, and believe me, I'm no knee-jerk apologist for the M8 (some happy souls have blocked me for the opposite reason), but it seems to me, precisely as you say, that possibly your style is more suited to other types of cameras?

Incidentally, I only recently bought and then returned an M8 - only to have second thoughts again, and ordered one more time. Using other camera lead me to a firmer realization of why I love the M-system, and why I cherish its uniqueness.

 

Best, Mani

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...for my type of street photography, which is often at very close distances, 0.8-1.0 meters, the M8 metering has so far proved too cumbersome — there simply isn't time to meter to the right or left or above or below the subject, half-press the shutter and bring it back on the subject and trip the shutter. In most cases with the GRD2 I had no such problem.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

 

Hi Mitch,

 

Everyone is different but I don't normally use those steps at all. I just tweak the exposure before I raise the camera to my eye and 'Bob's your uncle". <G> I think it may just be a question of getting into the practice of "old school" metering again.

 

For leveling you could try the frame lines in the M8 finder itself.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In the light of the foregoing I think that I should summarise, after a mere 2-1/2 weeks, the things that I would like to see changed or improved on the M82.:

 

1. Manual ISO setting along the line of the EV adjustment.

 

2. Lens identification through a menu, similar to that on top-end Nikon cameras, as an alternative to lens coding.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

 

Hi Again,

 

As you know I'm in favor of both changes. We might see the first item in a new model but I won't hold my breath waiting for the second item - alas.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I2. Display of the ISO, aperture and shutter speed in the viewfinder,

 

How would you be able to view the aperture in the viewfinder given that there's no electrical link between the lens and body?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of points about metering on the M8/M9:

 

  • I don't think there is any particular magic or something the camera vendors want to hide from their users about how decent matrix metering systems work nowadays. In most cases it is pretty obvious how the exposure should be set once you have the data from the matrix sensor. Of course, there are sometimes cases where there are several alternatives, all with their own drawbacks, and in these cases a decision based on heuristics is made. For an experienced photographer, it is easy to identify these situations and switch to manual mode, though, and otherwise most of the time a good matrix metering system will simply give you the right exposure.
     
  • Sure, you can argue that you don't want to work with a camera where a computer makes decisions you can't fully comprehend or examine, but then you shouldn't use a digital camera in the first place. Even a seemingly "simple" digital camera like the M8 contains tons of code doing things you don't know about.
     
  • Likewise, you could argue that it's not the "Leica M way" to have matrix metering, but you could as well argue that it's not the Leica M way to have an aperture priority automatic or something like Auto-ISO. Heck, even the MP isn't fully mechanical anymore. Maybe Leica will at some point in the future offer a bare-bones digital M that is to the M8/M9 what the MP is to the M7, but I wouldn't expect the successor of the M8 to have less features than the M8, like it or not.
     
  • What bothers me about the metering system on the M8 (and M6, M7, MP) is that it is neither spot nor matrix - it measures a vaguely-described area which for technical reasons can't even be accurately displayed in the viewfinder. I understand that there are technical problems to have a more sophisticated system in a rangefinder, but that doesn't imply that what we have now is the best solution one can get. If you had a clearly-defined and clearly-visible spot, you could use it as a light meter and work mostly manually. If you had a reliable matrix system like on a Nikon, you could simply shoot and be pretty sure that it works. Right now, you have the worst of both worlds, kind of.
     
  • Don't get me wrong. I've bought the M8.2 some months ago and before that I've solely used an M4-P for more than 15 years. I know how to work with an external light meter and with a fully manual camera, and in many cases I don't even need a light meter. But the camera I bought from Leica last year has a light meter and an automatic mode, and if it has to have one, I'd rather have a better one than it has now. If I feel macho, I can always switch to manual mode and guess the exposure...

 

YMMV, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

As for the level, my experience has been that if the horizon isn't straight it's usually always in the same direction and fairly consistent in its severity. In my case downwards from left to right. It's reasonably easy to consciously compensate for this, and after a while it becomes an unconscious correction.

 

I can see both sides of this argument; my GX200 has a level which I find useful because almost all of my other cameras give a sloping horizon as Steve describes. I am rather thrilled to say that my new M8 gives me consistently level framing. I thought it was a fluke, but I continue to be amazed by the accuracy I am getting. Nothing else has changed; I am wearing the same bifocals!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I missed the part where manual exposure became equated with machoism. Does that mean my use of the histogram for tweaking is emasculating...? <G>

 

Mitch, I think you just keep trying to get a feel for working with this new creature and eventually you'll know if it works for you or if the GR2 just suits you better. Who knows..?

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×