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egibaud

bye bye Love bye bye M8

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Hi,

 

A couple of month ago I bought a Canon 5D MKII to use along my 2 M8 bodies.

I've been using exclusively M8 since march 2007.

 

I've made great shots, wedding reportage that my clients really appreciated and happily paid.

 

I always try to work with available light... and when I got the Canon 5D MKII I kept doing so. I had to solve autofocus problems in low light by using a ST-E2 remote trigger as a focus helps as it has infrared window to do so (I could have used a flash unit without firing it but it does have a pre flash that calls for attention).

 

After using both camera type my conclusion are:

5D MKII has less noise at very ISO

I have more accurate focusing and I have many less missed shots for moving (me or subject).

 

This is the problem I have with my M8 and a Noctilux at 1.0, it is not that sharp and speed needs to go as low a 1/8th because of high ISO limitation. With the Canon I can shoot at 1.4, 6400 ISO and 1/20th or 1/30th with the great help of autofocus, this means better frozen pics and still keep some movement.

 

When I get the picture with the perfect focus and exposure, my M8 pictures are always better. But in low light I feel that now my Canon 5D MKII is a better tool for me.

 

The M8 is far lighter, more discreet, more what I like, but I can no longer risk to miss a shot. I do not want to have my client say, "did you get this great shot when my brother fell on the floor?" well... no, I had no time to focus... I do not feel confident anymore with my Leica gear, I've missed to many shots and now know I do not miss them with my 5D MKII

 

M9 is on its way, soon, very soon, but it means spending another +/- 6000 Euros... and still have no autofocus, and my eyes are getting tired after 15 or more hours shooting at a wedding.

 

I really love both my M8 black and silver and I'll miss them, but as a pro, costs must be justifieds for what an M8 with 2 lenses costs me I have a full equipped Canon kit...

 

Cameras are tools, not lovers although using a Leica M is some kind of love story.

 

I am not sure when I will be selling my gear but unless the lottery knocks on my door, I will have to move onto new horizons. If lottery comes, I'll go onto Canon anyway, sell both M8 bodies and try one M9...

 

I'm about to leave Leica world. Thanks for all the help received here.

 

Eric

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As a working pro, it's about using the right kit for the job. In low light and fast moving situations, the Leica is NOT the right tool, the canon/nikon offerings are much better.

 

For discreet situations, ones where you can take your time and focus, the Leica blows most away.

 

I still get annoyed at missing moving shots. Granted manual focusing is a bitch, especially when tired. It's why I now use a mix of kit to cover most situations.

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Eric:

 

Sorry to hear this, but maybe you should hang onto your M glass for a little longer if possible

 

If your eyes are not good enough for manual focusing, have you given any thoughts to zone focusing? I've been shooting the wedding receptions just zone focusing with a 21 and have had amazing results... If you use assistants, have you thought about giving them a flash on a lighstick to trigger remotely? This also yields better results than what you will get with a flash straight on...

 

I have nothing against the 5D or any other DSLRs but since you state how much you like the M8, I am just throwing some ideas out there that may help you out since there is always more than one way to skin a cat

 

Feel free to post any questions/comments you may have here... I'm around this month and will try to chime in as much as possible.

 

Cheers,

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(D)SLRs and (D)RFs are not the same beasts. Even if it adresses all the flaws of the M8 the M9 will be unable to do what most entry DSLRs can do and vice versa. Nothing new under the sun.

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eric , in many tax systems it is profitable to sell professional gear to a friend slightly below market value if the writeoff value is higher to gain an extra writeoff or even at writeoff value, and buy it back privately instead of losing taxdeductible expense by trading it in. that way you could keep a selection for private use and still keep on the right side of the balance sheet.

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(D)SLRs and (D)RFs are not the same beasts. Even if it adresses all the flaws of the M8 the M9 will be unable to do what most entry DSLRs can do and vice versa. Nothing new under the sun.

 

This ^^^ is totally true and has been for at least 40-45 years. The Leica M does (IMO) a limited number of tasks brilliantly, but a large number of other tasks awkwardly or worse.

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Hi Eric,

I am not in agreement with your reasoning

Optics Leica is the best of the world.

For a camera digital or film the first important choice is its optics according to me

....and i have 40 years of usage of Leica behind me ! the rest of my family has N.. and C....

It is enough to compare an "enlargement" on paper to notice it.

 

As for the electronic part and mechanics of M8 , it is possible to discuss about it.

However you can take M8 firmly in your hand ,but it is not the case with the bigger reflex (i have a R8) !

Regards

Henry

 

NB: this photo was taken from the wedding of my niece on June 2009 with M8 and + Summicron 90mm Asph lens without correction and without flash

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I have moved from DSLR to DRF because I CAN miss shots as I am not a pro. If I am in your situation where I cannot miss shots due to manual focus or something, then i would have to pick DSLR...

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I have moved from DSLR to DRF because I CAN miss shots as I am not a pro. If I am in your situation where I cannot miss shots due to manual focus or something, then i would have to pick DSLR...

 

Hmm... I have missed more shots with DSLRs than wih RFs, specially in low light where the AF either hunts forever or has a mind of its own...

 

Cheers,

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I can fully understand the reasons given to quit Leica. The success of the M-system was based on the fact that it fulfilled a customer need, i.e. shoot fast/silent/at low light etc.

 

Unfortunately Leica - as a engineer-driven company - never seemed to understand this. Which is why today there are other cameras that are more silent, better at low light, faster, etc.

 

I still love my M7 and R9 but I am not a pro. A few weeks ago, I was shooting at a theatre with an R9 DMR, the other guy had an D3. Well, that was a very clear result :-( Lens quality is pointless if you are out of focus and/or high ISO is just not up to current standard.

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The thing is that here in Spain 90% of wedding ceremony and celebration are at night time.

 

At 1.0 or 1.4 and 1/8s zone focusing is not an option. This is what I do for day time weddings and I get brilliant pics.

 

I fully agree that Leica glass is far better, but what's the point of having a moved high quality glass picture.

 

Anyway, I am going to sell first one body only and a couple of lenses and buy a second 5D MKII body. And wait to decide what to do next.

 

Thanks for comments.

 

Eric

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I made the mistake of shooting a rodeo one night with a M2. I was in the arena while a cowboy tried to ride a bull. Love my Leicas, but it was the wrong tool for that mission. I wish you well. jh

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Interesting... if a faster ISO M9 comes out then I will sell my D3 and Nikon glass and shoot straight M digital. I've never yet missed a crucial shot with an M, and I'm more convinced than ever that the glass makes the difference (not to mention the weight around my neck!). I also agree with Riccis; in very low light, the D3 gives up much more quickly than the M8 (and AF is better on the D3 than 5d2).

Edited by Jamie Roberts

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Now, I'm not a pro so perhaps I am going to be pilloried for not knowing what I am talking about, but I have been in photography for 50 years (Lars is not the only old one here) and I've used all kinds of equipment in different situations. I think it takes special and perhaps unique skill effectively to use a rangefinder (whether digital or film) to do an event like a wedding. There are some shots (like a previous post with a terrific photo of the bride) that can be posed, and where the light is good (daytime wedding). But not everything can be done available light. Examples: nighttime or indoors? And what about spontaneous photos of people dancing? RF is not always the right tool. I too use a 5d mkii and IMHO it is far superior to M8 for low light, for flash, for moving subjects where AF gets the job done, and for long(er) lenses. I still prefer the images from the M8, but sometimes you just have to have a screwdriver rather than a hammer.

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Now, I'm not a pro so perhaps I am going to be pilloried for not knowing what I am talking about, but I have been in photography for 50 years (Lars is not the only old one here) and I've used all kinds of equipment in different situations. I think it takes special and perhaps unique skill effectively to use a rangefinder (whether digital or film) to do an event like a wedding. There are some shots (like a previous post with a terrific photo of the bride) that can be posed, and where the light is good (daytime wedding). But not everything can be done available light. Examples: nighttime or indoors? And what about spontaneous photos of people dancing? RF is not always the right tool. I too use a 5d mkii and IMHO it is far superior to M8 for low light, for flash, for moving subjects where AF gets the job done, and for long(er) lenses. I still prefer the images from the M8, but sometimes you just have to have a screwdriver rather than a hammer.

 

I fully agree when the image is right the M8 gives superior image. For me cameras are tools, each job needs the best tool. If all my wedding were in day time, I would not even think about letting my M8 down.

 

I love the fact that I can frame the picture better with the M8 as its like looking through a window instead of a tunnel, I can reframe as subject move into the scene, with a SLR what you see is what you get, and what you don't see you miss it. Luckily my 2 years of M8 have thought me a lot, things like openning both eyes when possible, my zoom are my feet, so I use 50mm and 85mm lenses, I am likely to get a 28 or 35mm. I am not afraid to get close to the subject. I think that having used a RF helps making better picture with an SLR.

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Now, I'm not a pro so perhaps I am going to be pilloried for not knowing what I am talking about, but I have been in photography for 50 years (Lars is not the only old one here) and I've used all kinds of equipment in different situations. I think it takes special and perhaps unique skill effectively to use a rangefinder (whether digital or film) to do an event like a wedding. There are some shots (like a previous post with a terrific photo of the bride) that can be posed, and where the light is good (daytime wedding). But not everything can be done available light. Examples: nighttime or indoors? And what about spontaneous photos of people dancing? RF is not always the right tool. I too use a 5d mkii and IMHO it is far superior to M8 for low light, for flash, for moving subjects where AF gets the job done, and for long(er) lenses. I still prefer the images from the M8, but sometimes you just have to have a screwdriver rather than a hammer.

Hi Weinschel,

No the marriage was at the end of after midday at about 5-6 pm and it rained outside !

I was at 1250 Iso without flash and tripod

It is under the light of the church and nothing else

Thanks for looking

Henry

Edited by Doc Henry

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Now, I'm not a pro so perhaps I am going to be pilloried for not knowing what I am talking about, but I have been in photography for 50 years (Lars is not the only old one here) and I've used all kinds of equipment in different situations. I think it takes special and perhaps unique skill effectively to use a rangefinder (whether digital or film) to do an event like a wedding. There are some shots (like a previous post with a terrific photo of the bride) that can be posed, and where the light is good (daytime wedding). But not everything can be done available light. Examples: nighttime or indoors? And what about spontaneous photos of people dancing? RF is not always the right tool. I too use a 5d mkii and IMHO it is far superior to M8 for low light, for flash, for moving subjects where AF gets the job done, and for long(er) lenses. I still prefer the images from the M8, but sometimes you just have to have a screwdriver rather than a hammer.

 

I have been commissioned for some weddings where I am the largest expense of the day, hence no fancy lighting, modest venue, no five figures dress and floral arrangement, etc... and I've never had an issue getting the shots... Maybe I can't do 100% available light at nightime but with the aid of a very small flash and zone focusing I can shoot a reception in the darkest settings without the need to look at the viewfinder and knowing that the images are in the bag.

 

IMHO, as long as your style of shooting does not rely on telephotos there is no reason why you can't shoot the same way with an SLR or RF...

 

Cheers,

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Eric

 

You are probably making the right choice - tough as it is. I too have been considering how I can continue to own Leica gear with the inbuilt limits on low light photography. I recently proudly showed another member of the forum the results of my shooting in low light with the new Nokton 1.1 lens. He responded by showing me the results from his Canon wedding kit and there was absolutely no contest - the sharpness from the Canon kit under indoor lighting was... well just astounding. You would never achieve that from Leica except under very strong indoor lighting conditions (and having spent 5 weeks shooting inside a school with very poor lighting I know this for a fact). We can all get acceptable results for small sized prints or the web using Leica gear in low light but no way, hand on my heart, would I base a critical situation like a wedding on the current Leica M8. It just does not do the job, imho.

 

If we're talking indoor reportage where movement, lack of sharpness or even nosie may be acceptable, then that is another matter.

 

LouisB

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Hi Eric,

I am not in agreement with your reasoning

Optics Leica is the best of the world.

For a camera digital or film the first important choice is its optics according to me

 

Let's see...Best optics in the world, or bread on the table.

 

Thinking.

 

Thinking.

 

Eric...I think you made the right decision, but frankly, my opinion matters little. You're the guy on the ground, and that controls most of the argument.

 

Best of luck, no matter what camera you find in your hands.

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