Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
cme4brain

Please keep me from selling the M8 for a Nikon D40

Recommended Posts

Guest stnami

Quote:

Originally Posted by stnami

.........user error, you just have to work harder with the m8, go beyond point and shoot

 

One of your better contributions Imants! Detox working.

__________________

 

The valium not working as well it used to Erl, maybe you should chill out with a cold ale instead. As many have stated here before, some find it hard to use a rangefinder and are better off with a DSLR

Edited by stnami

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He's not using a $3,000+ Leica lens.

 

f/8 is a great equalizer and bright sunlight with a static subject is not a technical challenge. If this is all he'll be using the camera(s) for even the D40 is overkill.

 

Re-read what I wrote. I didn't say he was using one. I was responding to the suggestion that the photo would be better if it had been made with a Leica lens. e.g. one couldn't judge an M8 vs. a D40 if the M8 is equipped with a CV lens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Re-read what I wrote. I didn't say he was using one. I was responding to the suggestion that the photo would be better if it had been made with a Leica lens. e.g. one couldn't judge an M8 vs. a D40 if the M8 is equipped with a CV lens.

 

I didn't claim that you said he's using a Leica lens. At f/8, bright sunlight and a static subject it hardly matters anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whoops! I missed the CV lens bit. That would be like putting a Ford engine in the Porsche and then comparing it to the Toyota, just to confuse the analogy even more!

 

The key of my initial point is the clock, not the cars.

 

Please let's get away from the strained car analogy and just deal with the information as presented. Ford has made some of the best racing engines in the world.

http://www.autoblog.com/2006/07/05/ford-celebrates-1966-le-mans-victory-at-2006-le-mans-classic/ Ford Cosworths used to dominate F1.

 

I think the OP's point was that he simply was comparing the result, not the process. If that is all he is interested in, will the same shot made with an M8 and a Leica lens at f8 be significantly better? If not, then you just have to determine at which f stop it will start making enough difference.

 

Besides, I think the 6 and 10 megapixel sensors are more of a limiting factor than are the lenses. Even the lowly Sigma 12-24 at 12mm & f8 resolves better on a 21 megapixel camera than it does on a 12 megapixel camera. I'd suspect the Nikon kit lens would do better on a 15 megapixel APS camera. So where does that leave us?

 

Obviously, there are all different reasons why a person prefers to use one camera or another. If bang for the buck is a high priority, then a Leica will be out of the question.

 

He's asking for reasons to keep from selling it, so why not provide some and see if they are important to him. I'll say, if you like using it and it makes you happy, keep it. If not sell it.

Edited by AlanG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also shoot Nikon DSLRs for sports and any projects where I need to reach with my lenses because of the physical subject/athlete to photographer's positions. I'm fortunate enough to own a 300mm f2.8 and 400mm f2.8 EDIF glass as well as 105mm f1.8 and a half dozen other f2.8 prime and zoom lenses . All this equipment is set aside when I need to be able to hand hold a shot at anything less than 1/15th of a second, that's when I reach for the M6 and now the M8. I just had to post an image of my weekend ride, I do have a Honda and a Vespa for those more mundane trips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Horses for courses.

 

I have 2 M8s now with a variety of Leica glass, but also a D40 with the kit 18-55 lens. These are my 3 cameras now. I am a big fan of the D40. It is stunning value, and produces great results. Some of my favourite images have been taken with a D40, with either the kit lens or an 18-200 VR. In my view it punches way above its weight, and is also very compact with the kit lens.

 

I use it in situations where the M8 wouldn't work for me, or where I wouldn't want to use it - one example being close up photographs of my new Border Collie pup. Just don't want to get slobber on my M8 or glass - he moves, and chews, pretty quickly!! I could drop, smash and replace the D40 without breaking too much sweat. Not so the Leicas!

 

But when out doing serious stuff, such as street photography, the M8 is king, and to my eye (and without pixel peeping) the overall results clearly exceed anything a D40 could produce. They shine as Leica images through and through. Cynics might say that is BS without objective measurements, but I'm happy, and they give me the feel that my MP film scans used to do. Of course, most will say that the results should be pretty good from a good few thousands worth of kit (as long as the user isn't a buffoon).

 

A fair comment about the CV glass too.......try the test with Leica optics.

 

I suppose that if the Leica thing doesn't fulfil you or stir your soul, and justify its high cost to you, and you feel the D40 is enough (nothing wrong with that), then there is your answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost any lens will look good at f8. Try repeating the test wide open.

 

If after that you still want to sell the Leica, sell it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that all the posts about image quality of the M8 vs whatever has probably been done to death. As someone who owns or has owned the M8, the 5D, 5D2, D700, I can say that the IQ of the M8 holds up pretty well, with print size (5D2 here) and high ISO (5D2 and D700) being limiters.

 

So, once and for all, the IQ of the M8 is good. 5D good. That's really, really good, for the world of 35mm digital.

 

Now, setting IQ aside, photography is also an experience -- An experience I enjoy immensely. The rangefinder "experience" is completely different than making photos with an SLR. Using a rangefinder... well, if you like it, you'll love it. It is visceral and quickly addictive. Fun, fresh, real, in the moment. If you enjoy holding a small camera, putting it to your eye, seeing beyond the frame, the satisfaction of precise yet rapid manual focus, the immediate click of the shutter, then you could not sell the M8, unless it would be to buy, say, an M9 or some future creation. If the act of using a rangefinder is not exhilarating, then one should find a camera that excites him or her, makes a person want to shoot more, makes them anticipate the moment they finish whatever mundane task is at hand so they can go shooting. The M8 makes me want to take pictures. Therefore, megapixels and everything else aside, it is a great camera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest John66

If you can't see the difference in the pictures, and you can't feel the difference in use, there is no difference. So I'd would definitely sell it.

 

Like for like, Leica lenses are undoubtedly superior (if properly calibrated) to most other lenses manufactured, but the differences are getting smaller, and in some pictures Leica users themselves cannot really tell the difference.

 

Most Leica people seem to hang onto every single nuance (good or bad, seen or unseen), and often change the rules about what makes a picture special. For example, back in the film days, it was all about the amazing results you get with slow speed/high resolution film like Kodachrome 25, or Velvia 50 because Leica glass genuinely excelled at that.

 

However, now that Leica offers less resolution than many entry level cameras, resolution is considered almost vulgar - that is until Leica bring out some competitive hi res sensor... And if that sensor happened to have a strong AA filter on it, you can bet the Leicaphiles would go on about how "wonderfully smooth" the pictures look.

 

In short, if you cannot tell apart any obvious difference in handling and results between the Leica and the Nikon (or any other camera) then I would definitely sell the Leica. Crazy not to - besides digital Leicas will not hold their value long term (and those who argue that prices fall at a lower rate, I'd rather loose 60% on a 500 dollar camera, than 20% on a 5000 dollar camera, particularly if both offer similar results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest John66
Almost any lens will look good at f8. Try repeating the test wide open.

 

There might not be a lot of difference there either if the Leica doesn't focus properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an M8 and a variety of Leica lenses (new and old) plus Canons including a 5D2 with a set of L series fixed focals. By the argument of comparative photographs, its easy for me to see that in some circumstances the level of detail can be far greater from the 5D2 & (some) L lenses than it is from the 10MPixel M8. The 5D2, automation and AF also yield images where the RF struggles (user error often enough). So is the 5D2, or your D40, actually better than the M8? Of course not! It depends on what you are photographing, how you approach the business of photographing it, and, not least, your expectations and final use of the resulting image.

 

If the D40 produces images which satisfy your requirements just as well as the M8 does then by all means sell up your Leica and enjoy the D40. But be aware that it is the photographer that fundamentally creats the image and owning equipment, however esoteric, will only aid the photographer. Personally I get a great deal more satisfaction when I produce an image which I like and which I really worked hard at creating using the M8, simply because the M8 forces me to input far more into the creation of the image than the AF dSLRs do (although I fully accept that I could switch all automation off on my dSLRs if |I really wanted to).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the OP main requirement is image quality at F8 then he indeed should stick with the D40. The real question is IMO pros and cons of a rangefinder vs a DSLR. In my case, rangefinders is what I feel more confortable with and using primes challenges my mind (and feet) much more than zooms.

I also convinced that wide open and for OOF areas, M mount lenses blow away most of kit zooms in capability and quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:

Originally Posted by stnami

.........user error, you just have to work harder with the m8, go beyond point and shoot

 

One of your better contributions Imants! Detox working.

__________________

 

The valium not working as well it used to Erl, maybe you should chill out with a cold ale instead. As many have stated here before, some find it hard to use a rangefinder and are better off with a DSLR

 

i don't know if sarcasm is going on here, but i completely agree with Imants!

 

Please help me with a conclusion I am not interested in making. Below are comparison shots taken at the same time today with my Leica M8 with CV 25mm and my 6MP Nikon D40 with the 18-55mm kit lens. All exposures were taken at f/8 and 1/250th, ISO160/200 equiv. All pix converted from RAW NEF or DNG to highest quality JPEG using Photoshop elements 5.0, auto WB and exposure. My conclusion seems to be that I can tell virtually no objective difference between these 100% crops. That thought tells me that a 6MP amateur DSLR with a $100 kit lens at f/8 is pretty daggone comparable to my $5000 10MP M8, at least in this example. If that is true, then why pay for the Leica? Please anyone steer me away from that direction! I hope that I am missing something obvious and you all can point it out to me. Perhaps the CV lens would be sharper wide open, but I don't shoot wide open most of the time. Even if that is so, is then f/8 the great equalizer?

 

being surprised that a CV is as good as a Nikon kit lens is a little disingenuous -- especially at f/8 with a wide lens.... whilst the camera body and sensor are important, the critical link is the lens and how how you use it. i was in professional audio for many years and people would buy a $99 microphone, record themselves playing guitar in the bathroom, and then bitch that the sound quality on a $6000 time-code DAT didn't sound that different from the lowest end consumer one. well, duh!

 

to go further with the audio analogy, what the OP did in post-processing would be the equivalent of mixing everything down onto cassette. Photoshop Elements? Auto everything? with all that hard work you put into PP, i'd actually expect the D40 pic to be better! Leica gives you the rawest of RAW files and if you're not willing to put in a little elbow grease with PP and use better programs, all your pics will likely be flat -- no matter which lens or what f-stop you use. (f8 is not the great equaliser, btw, you still DO have to focus!)

 

if this is the level of photographic imagery and amount of time you want to put into processing, you would definitely be better off and happier with a DSLR that does superb in-camera JPEG's.

 

not only are rangefinders the wrong choice for many users, but the control the M8 gives you over the images is beyond the capability of many casual users. it takes some time and finesse to bring out the quality in the files (think drugstore double prints vs. a master printer with film).

 

i'm not dissing the OP, just explaining. i got my M8 a week ago and even though i've used a rangefinder exclusively for a year, it took me a few days to get used to the brutal honestly of the M8 images. and more than that to get my head around how to tweak the RAW files to get at the essence of the images (and i've been using Photoshop for more than 20 years). i imagine it will take me a few more weeks or months even to be completely at ease. but i'm willing to put in the time to learn -- is the OP?

 

if not, dump the M8.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i don't know if sarcasm is going on here, but i completely agree with Imants!

 

 

 

being surprised that a CV is as good as a Nikon kit lens is a little disingenuous -- especially at f/8 with a wide lens.... whilst the camera body and sensor are important, the critical link is the lens and how how you use it. i was in professional audio for many years and people would buy a $99 microphone, record themselves playing guitar in the bathroom, and then bitch that the sound quality on a $6000 time-code DAT didn't sound that different from the lowest end consumer one. well, duh!

 

to go further with the audio analogy, what the OP did in post-processing would be the equivalent of mixing everything down onto cassette. Photoshop Elements? Auto everything? with all that hard work you put into PP, i'd actually expect the D40 pic to be better! Leica gives you the rawest of RAW files and if you're not willing to put in a little elbow grease with PP and use better programs, all your pics will likely be flat -- no matter which lens or what f-stop you use. (f8 is not the great equaliser, btw, you still DO have to focus!)

 

if this is the level of photographic imagery and amount of time you want to put into processing, you would definitely be better off and happier with a DSLR that does superb in-camera JPEG's.

 

not only are rangefinders the wrong choice for many users, but the control the M8 gives you over the images is beyond the capability of many casual users. it takes some time and finesse to bring out the quality in the files (think drugstore double prints vs. a master printer with film).

 

i'm not dissing the OP, just explaining. i got my M8 a week ago and even though i've used a rangefinder exclusively for a year, it took me a few days to get used to the brutal honestly of the M8 images. and more than that to get my head around how to tweak the RAW files to get at the essence of the images (and i've been using Photoshop for more than 20 years). i imagine it will take me a few more weeks or months even to be completely at ease. but i'm willing to put in the time to learn -- is the OP?

 

if not, dump the M8.

A bit harsh, but you hit the nail on the head. Mind you, in the film days it was worse. One could get a M3 with Elmar 50 and a Revue 1000 with Revuenon 2.8/50, drop the film off at the chemist and conclude there was no visible difference. If one is not prepared to try and get the full potential from high end gear, it it senseless to buy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I find this assertion quite amazing: "Ain't no way that anything hanging off the front of an M8 is going to be superior to a nice Nikon 300 f/2.8 AF."

 

Exactly what do you mean by "superior"? I have that lens, and while it is indeed well made, it doesn't come close to any of my Leica M lenses. In build quality, contrast, speed or sharpness. Is there another factor?

 

If you can point me to a 300mm AF Leica lens that is at least f/2.8 -- I'd certainly consider it for shooting sports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest John66
Leica gives you the rawest of RAW files and if you're not willing to put in a little elbow grease with PP and use better programs, all your pics will likely be flat -- no matter which lens or what f-stop you use.

 

So why does the M8 crush these amazing RAW files down to 8 bit? Sure, the pictures might have a different look, but that's primarily down to the fact that it is not a cmos sensor. IMO, the M8's RAW files give no more flexibility than most other RAW files, and certainly less flexibility than RAW files from cameras in the same cost bracket as the M8.

 

I think in many ways, the Leica M8 look is similar to the characteristics and quality of Canon's original 4MP EOS 1D, (which I always liked) which also used a CCD sensor. It shared similar noise characteristics too.

Edited by John66

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A bit harsh, but you hit the nail on the head. Mind you, in the film days it was worse. One could get a M3 with Elmar 50 and a Revue 1000 with Revuenon 2.8/50, drop the film off at the chemist and conclude there was no visible difference. If one is not prepared to try and get the full potential from high end gear, it it senseless to buy it.

 

my apologies if i was too harsh. i did not mean to be cruel other than perhaps in a "tough love" way.... it might have to do with the fact that this is discussed frequently on the home front, too frequently for my taste, as i believe in live and let live rather than discuss everything to death. you either get it or you don't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So why does the M8 crush these amazing RAW files down to 8 bit? Sure, the pictures might have a different look, but that's primarily down to the fact that it is not a cmos sensor. IMO, the M8's RAW files give no more flexibility than most other RAW files, and certainly less flexibility than RAW files from cameras in the same cost bracket as the M8.

 

I think in many ways, the Leica M8 look is similar to the characteristics and quality of Canon's original 4MP EOS 1D, (which I always liked) which also used a CCD sensor. It shared similar noise characteristics too.

 

Ah- but it crushes rather intelligently. Let's not start that fruitless dicussion again. The upshot is that there is a small, but neglible difference between 16 bit and M8-compressed files. Comparing them to the DMR files there is great similarity, with the DMR files being mostly more robust in post-processing.

Don't forget to convert the M8 to 16 bits in RAW processing before working on them further, or you will lose all advantage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest John66
If you can point me to a 300mm AF Leica lens that is at least f/2.8 -- I'd certainly consider it for shooting sports.

 

Don't be silly - we all know such a lens would cost about $50,000

 

But I do recommend the Canon 200 f2, now that really is the quality sphere of Leica glass. Incredible!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drop both cameras. Keep the one that doesnt break. Let us know how it works out.

 

Not THAT brings a little gravity to the discussion!!

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.

×