Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jrc

Let's have it out

Recommended Posts

Guest BigSplash

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Actually, I didn't start the thread - that was JP. I just lobbed in a few rather wordy posts...! <grin>

 

I congratulate both JP and yourself ....I really hope the guys at Solms take note and get with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
She said the main problem was complete lack of feedback on camera settings, and inability to change settings quickly at the press of a button. It wasn't any one single problem but an accumulation, which added together made the camera too difficult and awkward to use.

 

Interesting and for some, controversial, comment. I am in two minds. On the one hand, DSLRs are in general already too over-"featured" and threaten to get more that way with every product cycle. The amount of time required to really get on top of a camera like a D300 or D700 at this point is considerable and frankly well above most owners' ability or interest. On the other hand, it is true that the M series remains stubbornly minimalist. Whether this is a problem or not really depends on the user and how it is used. For me, that is part of what I want - but I would never consider the M8 (or M7) a general purpose photographic tool - I see it as a (very expensive) niche product. Superb in its niche, not very useful beyond. And then, on the third hand, maybe the bottom line is, well, the bottom line: you listen to buyers, or you perish. The customer is always right, at some level - at least you have to have enough of them to pay the bills.

 

She said it's like "an ancient film camera that has simply had a sensor stuck in it", rather than being a usable, modern camera.

 

Well, that would certainly be true, by design. Again, whether it's a problem or a feature depends on what you want from the camera?

 

Example of her complaints: she likes to change ISO and exposure compensation on the fly, and wants a spot metering mode - none of which the M8 can do. The also hated that in the M8's manual mode she had no idea of the shutter speed.

 

Interesting comment - in film days, the only way to change ISO on the fly was to pick up a second body with a different speed film. Is it so necessary today? If it is, what changed???

 

She did say that my M8 "had potential", and that if Canon made one it'd be designed properly and fit for its purpose - and she'd definitely buy one!

 

Probably true. Leica's budgets for this are probably trivial compared to Nikon, Canon, etc. And they don't get it right every time, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading through this entire thread, I am now of the opinion that we should have a meeting somewhere of all M8 owners, dig a huge hole and have a mass burial for our obsolete, hard to use, overpriced cameras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brent,

 

Good point, or maybe alternatively, counseling sessions, as clearly there is a lot of people who just don't understand how this simpleton camera affect their ability to take great pictures, Im guessing if they had a camera which would not "get in the way" and take care of more of the thinking for them..

 

Hi, my name is Bo, and I love my camera... hi Bo.. we know how you feel.

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Steve Pope:

 

Sorry, Steve, but from Wikipedia: "Jewellery (pronounced /ˈdʒuːəlri/ or /ˈdʒuːələri/ (UK only)) or jewelry is an item of personal adornment,...."

 

Either spelling is appropriate. Google searches of the two variants give 180 million hits for "Jewelry" vs. 81 million for "Jewellery".

 

Guess which spelling Tiffany's uses: Tiffany & Co. | Home | United States

 

Also Patek Phillipe - scroll over to the March 2009 announcement "Baselworld New Jewelry"

 

PATEK PHILIPPE SA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
...Interesting comment - in film days, the only way to change ISO on the fly was to pick up a second body with a different speed film. Is it so necessary today? If it is, what changed???....
John, what has changed is that on a digital camera it is possible to change ISO by dialing it in. Once it is possible to do this it becomes logical and highly desirable to have a direct way of doing this quickly without having to go into menus. On my Nikon D300 there is a direct control that allows one to change ISO while looking through the viewfinder, where one see the selected ISO displayed.

 

I find that in street photography in Bangkok, where light is often vert contrasty, I often want to change ISO to be able to use a fast enough shutter speed to stop action without motion blur while maintain a relatively small aperture for large depth of field. The way one has to change ISO on the M8 is too cumbersome and too slow.

 

—Mitch/Potomac, MD

Bangkok Hysteria©: Book Project

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ArtZ: ....and once upon a time, Hermés sold their stake in Leica, because they realized that cameras make lousy jewel(le)ry. Thank G*d!

 

RE Features: long-time photographers do not have an issue with the M8's limited feature set because they learned photography at a time when ALL cameras had limited simple controls. Therefore they learned a skill-set that compensated for those limitations - such as being able to focus manually and quickly, being able to set exposure by eye without using (or even having) a meter, being able to recognize faces, and so on.

 

Except for issues of gender-specific access, I could have taken any of the pictures in Heather's portfolio (since it was given as an example) with an M8. Piece of cake - for me - technically. The camera would impose no limitations.

 

I'm sure that I could, with the help of some engineers and some video-targeting technology, develop a set of devices that would allow me to press a button and knock a golf ball 325 yards into a 1-meter circle every time - or hit it 200 yards and produce a hole-in-one every time. Would that make me the equivalent of Tiger Woods? Or (insert nation-specific golfer here)?

 

Who is the better golfer - Rodney Dangerfield with his super-scope laser-sighted equipment - or a guy who can achieve the same thing with a persimmon stick with a lump on the end and his Mk.I eyeball?

 

"Sometimes I sing and dance around my apartment in my underwear. Doesn't make me Madonna; never will." - from Working Girl

 

------

 

Edit - just as a reminder. I don't have a problem with Leica producing a feature-laden M version for those who don't have the skill-set to work with the M8/9, if they see a market for it. Nikon kept selling F2s to the pros who could use them, while also selling Nikkormat ELs to those who needed the help of electronics.

Edited by adan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Edit - just as a reminder. I don't have a problem with Leica producing a feature-laden M version for those who don't have the skill-set to work with the M8/9, if they see a market for it. Nikon kept selling F2s to the pros who could use them, while also selling Nikkormat ELs to those who needed the help of electronics.

 

Well if Leica makes that then I hope they also make the camera that I would like to buy.

 

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only two years into Leica Ms but I don't really see Leica failing in the near future.

 

Your feature requests does seem reasonable:

 

FF - matter of time

 

Better high ISO performance - A really expensive optical upgrade! Summiluxes, I cannot afford this option either ; )

 

Quieter shutter(M8.2 and M8 upgrade)

 

Better resolution - matter of time.

 

Removable bottom - I had to do it from a tripod about 30 times a day for a month. Got used to it. Mind you, a 1DmkIII is still better but the dumb mindless routine thing kicked in.

 

A twistable LCD with high resolution would be nice for me. I do not mind it being much thicker as I prefer a thicker body, cannot seem to handhold it steady enough.

 

In response to the questions.

 

1. I agree a cheaper camera would be helpful to grow market share and I would not object to a separate 1.3x crop EVF, Live view camera. to accompany the "M9" and M8.2.

 

This move would merely complement the system and not dilute its value of being a rangefinder in any way.

 

2. Agree but I think growing in small increments is good strategy. Big businesses are in much bigger trouble than small ones during this time. For Leica, M is their cash cow. Look at all the m lenses launched by zeiss, cosina and leica in the last 12 months. There is a market but it may not be visible and seem viable to us. These manufacturers are not launching into a vacuum.

 

I think Leica selling 100 noctilux or Cosina selling 1000 Nokton f1.1 would make a bigger impact on their profit than Nikon or Canon selling 50,000 D700 or 5DII.

 

What Leica might want is a product that sells consistently a little beyond their ability to produce. That they can service and respond within their abilities. I do wish they can respond as efficiently as Canon or Nikon but then I reckon Canon's superbly practiced response time is built upon the bedrock of QC inadequacies. I love it when they do a turnaround for 2 bodies and 10 lenses in 3 days. Nikon is at least 4 times as long but they are out of the box good to go. I will never run down to the store to buy a replacement lens and use it immediately with a Canon.

 

3. M's market has got to do with the photographer's affinity to the rangefinder rather than simplistically narrowing it to just current M8 and Mx-film owners.

 

Producing a lower price model is conceptually a good idea but is it the issue? Zeiss and Cosina provide low cost alternatives to Leica lenses and are extremely good alternatives. Here is the strange thing, both of them also have rangefinder cameras and there are plenty of camera manufacturers who could produce rangefinders and enough sensor manufacturers keen to supply sensors. Why is the M8 the only digital rangefinder on the market?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ArtZ: ....and once upon a time, Hermés sold their stake in Leica, because they realized that cameras make lousy jewel(le)ry. Thank G*d!

 

RE Features: long-time photographers do not have an issue with the M8's limited feature set because they learned photography at a time when ALL cameras had limited simple controls. Therefore they learned a skill-set that compensated for those limitations - such as being able to focus manually and quickly, being able to set exposure by eye without using (or even having) a meter, being able to recognize faces, and so on.

 

Except for issues of gender-specific access, I could have taken any of the pictures in Heather's portfolio (since it was given as an example) with an M8. Piece of cake - for me - technically. The camera would impose no limitations.

 

I'm sure that I could, with the help of some engineers and some video-targeting technology, develop a set of devices that would allow me to press a button and knock a golf ball 325 yards into a 1-meter circle every time - or hit it 200 yards and produce a hole-in-one every time. Would that make me the equivalent of Tiger Woods? Or (insert nation-specific golfer here)?

 

Who is the better golfer - Rodney Dangerfield with his super-scope laser-sighted equipment - or a guy who can achieve the same thing with a persimmon stick with a lump on the end and his Mk.I eyeball?

 

"Sometimes I sing and dance around my apartment in my underwear. Doesn't make me Madonna; never will." - from Working Girl

 

------

 

Edit - just as a reminder. I don't have a problem with Leica producing a feature-laden M version for those who don't have the skill-set to work with the M8/9, if they see a market for it. Nikon kept selling F2s to the pros who could use them, while also selling Nikkormat ELs to those who needed the help of electronics.

 

Your post made me laughed. Thanks!

 

Yes, Heather's pictures are not difficult with the M8. In fact, I'm sure you would not even have to put the camera to the eye to frame or focus for most of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, rather than talking about mainstream photographers and Heather... I want a "modern" digital Leica!

 

Leica and, perhaps, Zeiss, are the only manufacturers likely to make the type of camera I want. If Nikon makes one, say, it will have compromises to make it acceptable to general users (unless designed as a pro camera - unlikely). So, it will probably have "adequate" build quality, "idiot modes", an AA filter (don't want to upset people with moire), etc...

 

One of the reasons I use an M8 is because Leica omit fripperies - albeit they've gone too far me!

 

So, no one (yet) makes the ideal camera for me! The M8 is the closest so far, but I find it far from ideal even after 2 years' ownership...

 

Perhaps Leica being a small volume manufacturer is able do that. Omit the fripperies I mean.

To do large volume sales you have to appeal to a broad base of the population.

 

I would not mind the AA filter for the moire situations. Its a real pain if you have 1000 images to deal with.

 

Likewise, the M8 is not ideal but with time I have gotten used to most of its quirks. I hope you will be able to get your ideal camera, soon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BigSplash

This thread seems to be drifting in the direction of :

> Whether or not it is possible to take a quality picture with a Leica in the wide to 135mm range that is good as a Canon or Nikon

> Whether it requires the skill of a pro to take a "TOP quality" picture and would a Pro choose a Canon or Nikon as being a more useful tool for "street" photography because it has data on the viewfinder, autofocus lenses etc.

 

Surely the real issue is the question the OP originally proposed........"Let's have it out!"....can Leica survive with its present business model?

 

Maybe the top two questions have some relevance I agree but:

> the company is throwing its R&D into a S2, which looks very shaky I would suggest as a business

> Leica M9 is late, and unclear as to what we get when?

> Leica M9 may not be driven by photographic driven ideas and embracing the latest technology, but be a tweak of a design that had its origins from the M2 /M3 era and a loyal Leica fraternity that came and still practise film based methodology

 

 

Companies change their fortunes when they sieze the latest technology and exploit them...Apple iPhone, and Apple Mac for graphics based activities. What is Leica doing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, rather than talking about mainstream photographers and Heather... I want a "modern" digital Leica!

I don't, and moreover I did not buy an M8 because I had a pile of M lenses gathering dust. I bought it because it is the closest thing to taking pictures with a fully non-automated camera in the digital age. It really is brilliant - at least that is my opinion. My only regret is that I did not buy a Leica 30 years ago when I should have, but apparently I was less smart then.

 

If they made a digital R10 without auto anything I would buy it for any price they had in mind. Unfortunately they probably will not.

 

Leica needs to keep itself exclusive with quirky, non-mainstream, products. Aiming for the Nikon & Olympus etc. market would be suicide and would remove the 'aura'. Bad idea.

Edited by SJP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

> Leica M9 is late, and unclear as to what we get when?

...

 

Frank, my girlfriend is also late... THAT upsets me more than Leica M9 being late... and it's even more unclear what we get then !

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
T....

Companies change their fortunes when they sieze the latest technology and exploit them...Apple iPhone, and Apple Mac for graphics based activities. What is Leica doing?

 

I always thought of Apple as a company dedicated to simplifying lives of the average person by making complex information concepts easily accessible.

 

Leica simply kept photography simple.

 

I like my life simple. I use both.

 

Life's complicated enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Frank, my girlfriend is also late... THAT upsets me more than Leica M9 being late... and it's even more unclear what we get then !

 

 

Artz, frankly that's a more serious problem than the M9. The M9 has got a whole bunch of experts looking into those issues but who have you got? It would be off topic but for a fellow M8 and possibly M9 user, perhaps we can be allowed a digression?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John, what has changed is that on a digital camera it is possible to change ISO by dialing it in. Once it is possible to do this it becomes logical and highly desirable to have a direct way of doing this quickly without having to go into menus. On my Nikon D300 there is a direct control that allows one to change ISO while looking through the viewfinder, where one see the selected ISO displayed.

 

Yep, I know it is possible. I'm not trying to pick an agrument, really, but I'm not sure that "can" equals "need to." But that's probably splitting hairs or, worse, spitting into the wind. I'm well familiar with the D300, since I probably shoot 100 exposures on a D300 for ever one I shoot with an M.

 

And to the Canon point, implementing direct access controls for a limited number of key controls (WB, ISO, Exp Comp) would probably not be too expensive or do too much violence to the overal UI of the M8 - just put another row of buttons down the side of the panel on the rear, I think.

 

Still, and I may be a universe of one, I am happy with the M8 as it is. But I started shooting these things when the Leicameter M was a genuine ergonomic enhancement (shockingly horrible thought, really), so I am not a good evaluator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

logical and highly desirable

I would surmise 'useful on some occasions'. I really do not see the utility of rapid EV & ISO access. Use A if the scene is simple, use manual if it is more complicated. Thinking about EV & ISO is just another dimension (complication) to take your attention away from the primary process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggested she try my M8, but she pronounced it unusable compared with the 5D.

 

The M series has never really been a camera you pulled out of the box and started to shoot without difficulty and awkward moments. It does take a lot of practice and skill to be able to handle one fast.

 

I've been shooting M bodies for about 12 years, almost on a daily basis. I am very fast, but it took a LOT of practice to get there.

 

I remember the first afternoon with my Leica (M6ttl). Focusing was slow, awkward and most shots were out of focus. I was overwhelmed by having to juggle exposure, focus and framing all at once and I quickly had second thoughts, especially in light of how much money the camera had cost (even 2nd hand).

 

But I stuck with it and continued to practice.

 

As we all know the Leica is not a camera you can use successfully, with your brain turned off. It's not a point and shoot by any means of the imagination. In addition to looking for the shot you are constantly watching the light and adjusting the camera settings on the fly as you move around. You have to understand exposure and know the nature of your film or sensor. It becomes second nature after a while and like Dr. Strangelove, your hands almost develop a mind of their own.

 

I looked at her website and it says that she started to shoot seriously in 2003 with a DSLR. In all likely hood this means that she never used a manual camera for any amount time (aside from her Polaroid at age 9), so of course something like an M8 would be totally awkward for her to use. I get the same reaction when I hand one of my analog Leicas or Nikons to my friends.

 

I'm not saying she's a hack or anything like that, but having been around a while and seen both sides of the coin I'm not surprised to hear her reaction.

Edited by thrid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy