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cme4brain

Please keep me from selling the M8 for a Nikon D40

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...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...

The D40 has the same Sony ICX453 sensor as that of the D70 which is sharper than other 6MP's AFAIK.

Funnily enough this comes from the same reason explaining the 'superiority' of the M8: its weak AA filter.

The M8 has no AA filter at all, hence ugly pics due to moire from time to time, but its raw files look indeed sharper than any other crop camera i know of at the exception of the DMR.

Now this 'superiority' is more visible with good lenses at fast apertures needless to say.

BTW your M8 pic does not look sharp enough for whatever reason. Poor lens, motion blur, focusing problem, i don't know. So redo your test on a tripod, use good Nikon & Leica glass with the same raw converter, disable sharpening in both cases and show us what you've got.

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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.

 

The superiority question in the context of putting a 300mm lens on a Leica M is silly. It's like claiming my diesel pickup is superior to my father's Prius (or vice versa). Different tools for different tasks. Driving two miles to the grocery store, either vehicle will do the task (bicycle might be optimum though). This is analogous to P&S photos.

 

Pulling a horse trailer or driving solo across the country would require one or the other vehicle. Neither is superior, just more suited to the task.

Edited by wildlightphoto

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I haven't read all the responses to this thread so apologies if someone has pointed this out already.

 

You're not comparing the M8 to the D40. You're comparing one cheap lens to another cheap lens. The 18-55 is a kit lens, built to be sold cheaply and with only the most modest optical performance. The same is true of the CV. It's a lens which is attractive for its price, but less so for its optical properties.

 

I'm afraid regardless of what the sensor is capable of resolving, the lenses in both cases have turned the image to mush. And, as you've found, one lot of mush is hard to distinguish from another.

 

If you really want to do a comparative test I suggest you put a quality primes lens on each camera, shoot the same scene from a tripod, and then see what you think.

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I'll send you my address, my sister-in-law would be happy to have your M8.

 

Last night I was showing some prints from my daughter's spring musical performance (Cocoanuts, based on a '30s Marx Brothers movie). All shots were from the audience (thank you Leica for the new shutter and "discrete" mode!), about 5th row in a community theater.

 

She regularly shoots medium format (Mamiya 645) and a Nikon D40 and was marveling at the quality of the images, particularly an 11x17 of the entire cast after the show closed.

 

When I pointed out the the pictures she was seeing were right out of Lightroom, with only WB set, she didn't believe it. Then she wanted to know how I got the pictures without a flash (she was at one of the performances sitting next to me), all the pictures were ISO 640, with shutter speeds between 1/30 and 1/180. Using a range of lenses Kobalux 21/2.8, Canon 35/1.5, 50 'lux, 75 'cron, mostly f4 or wider.

 

If you are only shooting f8 in well lit situations, from a tripod, it really doesn't matter what camera you use. If you want to shoot anything more "challenging" the M8 is a tool that is hard to beat.

 

c.

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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!

 

Um, unless you've shot the 180 f2 Leica R that is

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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?

 

The first is the full frame shot, then see two pairs of 100% crops, first the NikonD40 and Leica M8 center crops, then the Nikon and Leica corner crops.

 

Ok, a group of us have decided to come over to your place and wrestle you down and make you keep your M8. Where do you live? We're also going to make you toss the CV lens and stop taking really boring photographs with any camera. We decided to form this vigilante group because there are too many semi-functioning adults on this forum who can't make decisions on their own. We'll be seeing you shortly.

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Guest John66
Um, unless you've shot the 180 f2 Leica R that is

 

Ah, but auto focus was required, so it doesn't count

 

Besides, I would be very surprised if there is much between the two in sheer quality of resolution. However, I must admit I've never tried the R 180/2, or even knew one existed...

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Last year I taught a class in architectural interior photography. All of the students were using relatively modest camera bodies, generally with modest zoom lenses. I had never used any of those inexpensive bodies or lenses. The technical quality across the board looked very good to my eyes.

 

 

The first thing I notice when I see architectural work done with cheap glass is the extremely obvious barrel distortion. Doorways and wall corners become curved when they should be straight lines, ceiling lines sag to the middle. The next thing I see consistently with the kit lenses is the lack of edge sharpness. These problems do not occur with my Leica lenses.

 

Um, unless you've shot the 180 f2 Leica R that is

 

True that!!! This has to be one of the best lenses ever made.

Edited by fotografr

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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?

 

The first is the full frame shot, then see two pairs of 100% crops, first the NikonD40 and Leica M8 center crops, then the Nikon and Leica corner crops.

 

Hi Lloyd,

 

The CV 25 was zone-focused, yes? I'd do the comparison, if it still matters, with a coupled lens and focus bracketing. As a rule and in practice, scale focused lenses are almost always a bit out of focus. DOF does not cover for that fully - ever. Does that mis-focus matter for normal photography? Often it does not but it matters very much for comparison tests that try to measure res. or detail.

 

The tests you show here are bound to mislead you. I would not draw any conclusions from them at all.

 

BTW, a good copy of the CV 25 (focused exactly) should be razor-sharp on center.

 

Once you've done your careful comparisons, consider all the other differences as well. The M8 files may show more detail but detail is just detail. How well does each camera work for you? If you are going to pixel peep, do it rigorously (as you do things in medicine) but also remember the precarious perils of pixel peeping which can bring about premature...and now I don't have a P word to finish...conclusions that look t0o much at just one aspect of cameras or lenses. (If someone has a P word for conclusion I'd be much obliged.)

 

Pixel peeping ain't everything but if you're going to do it, do it very carefully. If the tests aren't rigorous, they usually are worse than doing no testing at all. The web is full of long discussions about comparison tests that don't really show the differences intended.

 

Best,

 

Sean

Edited by sean_reid

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(If someone has a P word for conclusion I'd be much obliged.)

 

Sean

Premise?

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{snipped} If you are going to pixel peep, do it rigorously (as you do things in medicine) but also remember the precarious perils of pixel peeping which can bring about premature...and now I don't have a P word to finish...conclusions that look t0o much at just one aspect of cameras or lenses. (If someone has a P word for conclusion I'd be much obliged.)

 

{snipped}

 

... presumption(s)

... perspectives

... purchases

 

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All good points by everyone, even Imants. I've seen Jim get better pictures with his DL-4 but that's a whole other topic.

 

Sean Reids comments are spot-on, as usual. Last weekend I was trying to decide between the 18 Zeiss and new Leica (thanks to popflash). For the fun of it, I also compared my 5d2 w 24-105. I was most surprised at how well the M8 files looked compared to the Canon's. I expected the Canon to be better but it wasn't until I really magnified the image that I could see any advantage of the Canon (no substitute for 21mp for extreme pixel peeping). Another surprise was how hard it was to do controlled comparisons at vaious f-stops, distances, etc. The Leica 18 did not have an IR filter so the colors were not the same but I actually liked the Zeiss better. Not trying to hijack the thread but at f8, it wouldn't surprise me if a D40 looked comparable without a controlled environment. But it's so much more fun and challenging with the M8- actually feels more involved in the process.

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The first thing I notice when I see architectural work done with cheap glass is the extremely obvious barrel distortion. Doorways and wall corners become curved when they should be straight lines, ceiling lines sag to the middle. The next thing I see consistently with the kit lenses is the lack of edge sharpness. These problems do not occur with my Leica lenses.

 

I use DXO as my raw processor and it automatically makes the lenses distortion free. I didn't see any obvious distortion on my student's work and if I did, we could have corrected it. Edge sharpness looked OK to me. On interiors, the corners are often a blank wall, ceiling, or floor. On exteriors it is often sky or grass. So corner detail is not usually a major concern. In any case, architecture is generally shot on a tripod so using f8 of so for good overall sharpness is just standard procedure.

 

Here is an example of DXO correcting for barrel distortion,CA, and vignetting:

http://pa.photoshelter.com/gallery-slideshow/G0000JH.Q2fL3Aqs/

Password: Leica

You can toggle between the two images and watch the distortion and vignetting go away.

 

You can download full res. here:

http://pa.photoshelter.com/gallery/G0000JH.Q2fL3Aqs/

 

In my opinion, software correction is a big equalizer. And one reason I am using 35mm for architecture rather than MF.

 

I'm of the opinion that the main reason to use a Leica M8 is because you like using a Leica M8 and it works well for the what you use it for. If the photos from it typically were significantly better than from other cameras, then many pros would have no choice but to use one.

 

I think the above opinion applies to other cameras also. I'm sure a lot of enthusiasts own Hasselblads, view cameras, other high end 35mm, because they like using them, not because the photos they do necessarily require them.

Edited by AlanG

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easy: the precarious perils of pixel peeping which can bring about premature presbyopia

 

Great...<G>

 

So, Lloyd, all fun aside (though why should we set aside fun?) I'm sure you can understand the sense of the post.

 

To this day, I still love: "Helplessly hoping her harlequin hovers nearby..." - like the whole song actually. Graham Nash, are you quietly reading this forum? I don't know that Stephen Sills has any interest in photography by Nash, of course, is now a great printer.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Edited by sean_reid

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