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Is the M8 really a 'PRO' camera?

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Yes, yes. I am finally getting some answers that I was looking for. Weddings. Some editorials, which is casting a very big net. Secret of the trade - an acceptable answer too. Thank you all very much. And I do apologize if I wasn't clear with my question from the beginning. In trying to be as brief as possible, I supposed important qualifications were omitted.

 

I must also say that I am not trying to pick bones with the classification of what makes a camera a pro equipment. I was genuinely trying to find out if an M8 could be used professionally in any field of photography. Would a wedding photographer profit from investing in an M8 then? I guess even that question could not be answered definitively despite the agreement that an M8 had been used successfully in weddings.

 

In any case, it's just an itch, no biggie. Thank you all again for helping me scratch.

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I was genuinely trying to find out if an M8 could be used professionally in any field of photography.

 

The answer to that is no. Then again _no_ camera can be used universally for everything.

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I'm a full time professional photographer and I use M8 cameras for all of my digital work, except for the very rare occasion when I need long glass (180/2.8, 300/2.8) and then I use Nikon. But the Leicas work very well for me, and I do better work with them, so that makes them very 'professional' to me.!

 

Hi, yes I am an amateur and I hope not beneath you to address.

I am just curious as to how, if at all, a professional would use an M8. May I ask what field of photography you do to earn your living? When does it become a 'preferred' gadget to a DSLR? Thank you in advance for any answer that you might offer.

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As long as you know how to use whatever you have and have more than one for backup purposes, the least of your worries when trying to build a successful business should be your equipment.

 

Cheers,

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The answer to that is no. Then again _no_ camera can be used universally for everything.

 

I didn't mean universal; I asked if it could be used consistently in any, not every, field. Something is not right here. I seem to be ruffling a lot of feathers. I thought it was a simple question, you know. I was just frigging curious, that's all.

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As long as you know how to use whatever you have and have more than one for backup purposes, the least of your worries when trying to build a successful business should be your equipment.

 

Cheers,

 

Hey there. Not planning to be a pro. Just curious as to how a pro might use an M8.

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LOL.. Riccis, YUP.. big issue - having more than one... I have always had matching pairs of whatever I show up at a wedding with.. just really not a good idea to tell the bride "ehh looks like my camera is having a little problem today..." Same thing goes for car-shoots and garment photography, when a couple of models are booked for the day, don't have camera problems.. Personally I like matching cameras, because it I don't have to reset my mind to a different backup camera, just pick up and keep going.

 

BTW... been looking at your inspiration workshops... might jump in one of these days.

 

.

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Hey there. Not planning to be a pro. Just curious as to how a pro might use an M8.

 

Fair enough. In my opinion, it all depends on what is the style and vision of the person (or pro if you are getting paid) using the camera.

 

I started using M8s around February 2007 when many of my peers in wedding photography would not dare touch the camera. Did the camera had quirks? Yes, although the majority of them have been addressed by now.

 

The reason why I dumped my SLRs was because shooting with Ms complements my style very well (i.e. don't care about posed shots or the compressed look that shooting with long telephoto gives you but most importantly I did not want to put up with lugging a bunch of overweight gear).

 

When I come to work on my weddings (which can range from a very intimate backyard event to a week long party in some of the most extravagant places in the world), I don't want to look like a paparazzi or a member of the SWAT team all decked in black and with super telephotos hanging all over me, instead I dress according to the party (shorts and sandals if in a small private beach or sharp suit/tux if in an event with public figures) and just have a little M or two on my wrist while dancing throughout the day picking images that hopefully capture the essence of the day.

 

Of course, if you ask the majority of wedding photographers out there (or read online forums) you will see endless lists of equipment "that is needed" if you want to have great images (i.e. every lens and lighting kit on the market, flash add-ons, etc...). IMHO, once you get that concerned with equipment your images will suffer as you will not be 100% focused on what matters the most.

 

I am sure the same way I have made the M8 work for wedding photography, there are other folks out there that can make it work for fashion, PJ, commercial work, etc... Again, IMHO equipment does not matter.

 

Hope this helps,

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Fair enough. In my opinion, it all depends on what is the style and vision of the person (or pro if you are getting paid) using the camera.

 

I started using M8s around February 2007 when many of my peers in wedding photography would not dare touch the camera. Did the camera had quirks? Yes, although the majority of them have been addressed by now.

 

The reason why I dumped my SLRs was because shooting with Ms complements my style very well (i.e. don't care about posed shots or the compressed look that shooting with long telephoto gives you but most importantly I did not want to put up with lugging a bunch of overweight gear).

 

When I come to work on my weddings (which can range from a very intimate backyard event to a week long party in some of the most extravagant places in the world), I don't want to look like a paparazzi or a member of the SWAT team all decked in black and with super telephotos hanging all over me, instead I dress according to the party (shorts and sandals if in a small private beach or sharp suit/tux if in an event with public figures) and just have a little M or two on my wrist while dancing throughout the day picking images that hopefully capture the essence of the day.

 

Of course, if you ask the majority of wedding photographers out there (or read online forums) you will see endless lists of equipment "that is needed" if you want to have great images (i.e. every lens and lighting kit on the market, flash add-ons, etc...). IMHO, once you get that concerned with equipment your images will suffer as you will not be 100% focused on what matters the most.

 

I am sure the same way I have made the M8 work for wedding photography, there are other folks out there that can make it work for fashion, PJ, commercial work, etc... Again, IMHO equipment does not matter.

 

Hope this helps,

 

That's interesting. I think that's the first time I am hearing that an M8 is used exclusively in an entire shoot. Thanks!

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That's interesting. I think that's the first time I am hearing that an M8 is used exclusively in an entire shoot. Thanks!

 

That is correct, even when I used SLRs, my longest lens was an 85mm, so once I moved to Ms there was no reason to have both systems anymore. I also remember shooting complete weddings only on M8s and a 35 Sumicron after Leica was sold out of a lot of lenses following the M8 release.

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I only use M8s for my pro work as I said before, and I do documentary and editorial work.

 

All of the work on my website from 2008 and 2009, other than a few frames, were M8. My Istanbul and Cuba work was done with M film cameras and Tri-x.

 

I'm now selling off most of my Nikon gear and will only use Leica. The only real exception is if I need to shoot a political event or something that requires a long telephoto. But even then, the Leicas will be used for wide work, which is the majority of my photographs.

 

Backups are a requirement for pros. Pure and simple, and that counts no matter what gear you use. I've had zero problems with my M8s but I've killed several "pro" 1-series Canons and D1 and D1h Nikons. I've actually had two canon cameras die while covering one Yankees game for a newspaper. Luckily they were the paper's cameras so they couldn't blame me. And a grand slam in the beginning of the game clinched it anyway before my cameras died. B ut my point is that backups are a fact of life for pros.

 

I would never travel with fewer than two cameras and I prefer three. I'm a minimalist when shooting and use one or two lenses but always have backups. I carry a bunch of cards, batteries and at least two chargers since they can fail. One of the things I love about the M system is I can carry three bodies and they take up only a bit more space than one large 'pro' DSLR. I can fit all of my travel kit into a small domke satchel.

 

Also, as others have stated, no camera is a 'do-it-all' solution for pro work. Leica M cameras excel at documentary, street photography, weddings, anything that requires capturing moments, mostly in available light and with lenses from 21-90mm. Clearly Leicas can be used for other types of photography but for this type of shooting I'd say the M8 is very capable of professional-level work, in the right hands of course.

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Leica M cameras excel at documentary, street photography, weddings, anything that requires capturing moments, mostly in available light and with lenses from 21-90mm.

 

I think that is a very good summation - capturing moments. Of course, I'm quite sure dSLR users will have an equally compelling argument why a D3 or even a Holga - along the line of 'a spatula, in the right hands, is a deadly weapon' philosophy - could trump an M8 by those qualifications. That's not my point of asking this question.

 

To know that there are photographers making a living (and a decent one at that, I hope) shooting in a particular field solely with the M8 is what I was after. Is it a tool for the professional, a toy for the enthusiast or another showpiece for the collector? This is an important question to Leica and the future of the M cameras. And you can clearly see they are trying to find answers from the features and cameras they release - the 'S' mode on the M8.2 (for the newphyte) and the Safari/White editions (for the collectors).

 

The CRF market is near dead; there hasn't been any real growth, ie increase in new users, for a while. When a generation - the 'older' one, that is - move on, who will take over and continue to upgrade to the next M camera? The pro, enthusiast or collector?

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I didn't mean universal; I asked if it could be used consistently in any, not every, field. Something is not right here. I seem to be ruffling a lot of feathers. I thought it was a simple question, you know. I was just frigging curious, that's all.

 

That's the same thing isn't it? Any or every? The M8 will be best suited to specific types of photography, as the examples already given should demonstrate. I don't think I'd choose an M8 if I were a sports photographer covering Football matches for the papers say.

 

CRF market is near dead; there hasn't been any real growth, ie increase in new users, for a while

 

Have you done research on this then? Stats to back up what you say?

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To know that there are photographers making a living (and a decent one at that, I hope) shooting in a particular field solely with the M8 is what I was after.

 

There are

 

We've told you about them already.

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This dates back - just - to film days, but before the 2000 Olympics, Magnum photographer John Vink shot a whole story, in B&W, with a Leica M, on athletes training in 3rd World countries where they had to build their own equipment and otherwise improvise techniques that richer countries take for granted.

 

That photographer had a personal vision that involved getting close to the subject with wide lenses, and was able to apply it to sports as to any other subject. And the magazine respected his/her professional vision, not whether s(he) could stand back with a 600mm f/4 and shoot sports like everyone else.

 

Personally, I've surprised even myself over the years shooting studio, wildlife and sports with RF cameras (Leica M and Contax G).

 

Goats - M8 + 90, Women's football, G2 + 21, studio stuff - see my web page.

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Look at the question another way.

 

When I bought an F5 after my previous kit was stolen in the 90s, it was definately not a 'Pro' camera in my hands.

 

Nothing about the results could ever be called 'Pro' despite a couple of first class lenses including the 180mm f/2.8. The reason was me. As I used it less and less, it became metal and glass in a bag. A professional never came near it.

 

The word professional really refers to a human trait, and applies to a human or the job s/he does. Can equipment ever be workmanlike? No. The word refers to the job done, not the tools. If you doubt, apply the phrase to a set of golf clubs.

 

Regards,

Mark

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That's the same thing isn't it? Any or every?

 

Any = Every. Are you serious?

 

 

Have you done research on this then? Stats to back up what you say?

 

No. I do not have stats. But I have some facts, from which I base my opinion. If I may, here is why I said what I said.

 

The only makers of rangefinders are Leica, Voigtlander and Zeiss - perhaps there are others from Russia or somewhere I don't know about but their numbers cannot be substantial. Of these, Leica is the only manufacturer committed with ongoing development in next-gen rangefinders; Epson doesn't appear likely to invest on radically improving their RD1 line. Zeiss has one Ikon model, Cosina Voigtlander seems to be chugging along slowly but happily, and neither has plans to make a digital edition. Every other previous maker of rangefinders have long since moved on to SLRs. Or died.

 

This tells me something about the trend. If you spend any time at all in camera stores and chat with the proprietors, you'd learn more about diminishing rangefinder market that confirms an old Erwin Puts article - Question27022008

 

But please, do not get me wrong. I am not saying, or even implying, that the Leica M line is doomed. If anything, it seems Leica is able to buck the trend and continue to break new grounds with ever better M cameras. It's quite extraordinary, really.

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Any = Every. Are you serious?

 

A Leica M8 can be used for any type of photography.

 

A Leica M8 can be user for every type of photography.

 

Is there a difference? Aren't they both just synonyms for 'all'?

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Hey there. Not planning to be a pro. Just curious as to how a pro might use an M8.

 

You are not a 'pro' so why are you curious? Is it simply concern for Leica's future or something else?

 

Jeff

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