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What to test on a used M8


johnwolf

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I just ordered a demo M8, which should arrive Monday. The store's return policy allows a week to test and return. Beyond the obvious, is there anything specific I should look for?

 

I've been looking for a sliver demo for a while. Lots of black ones around but not many silver. The price was good and it has a one year Leica warranty and the two filter offer.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

John

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I think the first thing you have to check with attention is the range finder being perfectly alligned and in working order.

I know of several people with a vertical misallignement on their just bought brand new M8s.

I'm one of them. Had to send it to Solms to be realligned.

The only problem I've ever had on my camera.

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when i first bought my brand new (still in the box, never opened) M8.2 from my dealer, I took it home only to discover that the spring/lock button thingy that releases (or holds) the lens wouldn't click/lock into place unless you manually jiggled it while you turned the lens. I called my dealer but he had no M8.2's in stock to do a swap so I had to send it in to Leica USA for a couple weeks to fix that problem. Thankfully my dealer loaned me their M8.2 in the mean while (I think they felt awful about the situation).

 

I doubt you'll have this issue, but it's worth a look.

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An ex-demo M8 should have been checked prior to release for sale. So you should be OK. Having said that, I do recall one ex-demo Leica item, a lens I think, that had to be returned and replaced. In one week you should have plenty of time to test all of the functions quite quickly. That is the advantage of digital. However, don't just judge by the quality of the jpeg image on the LCD! But you probably know that one.

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Look for possible lines in the pictures at high ISO! Take some shots at 640-2500 ISO, perhaps best to underexpose a bit. Use DNG, not JPG. Look carefully through the pictures at 100% magnification and look for vertical lines (green or magenta usually I think). If you find one, there is a hot pixel in the sensor at the end of that line, even though that hot pixel itself can't be seen in the picture.

 

I bought an ex-demo M8 with only about 300 actuations from a very reputable dealer, and it had lines straight out of the box.

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Look for possible lines in the pictures at high ISO! Take some shots at 640-2500 ISO, perhaps best to underexpose a bit. Use DNG, not JPG. Look carefully through the pictures at 100% magnification and look for vertical lines (green or magenta usually I think). If you find one, there is a hot pixel in the sensor at the end of that line, even though that hot pixel itself can't be seen in the picture.

 

I bought an ex-demo M8 with only about 300 actuations from a very reputable dealer, and it had lines straight out of the box.

 

Yes, check for lines and hot pixels, also opens shutter for cleaning and check cover glass of sensor, sometimes it is cracked:mad:

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John,

I agree with viramati,

a superb web gallery.

 

John

 

Thanks viramati and John. The web site was mostly shot with an M8, with some from a 5D. The SoFoBoMo project was shot with a 5DII.

 

I sold my M8 a while back. Loved it but I could not justify two systems and needed a DSLR, mostly for technical macro work. Now that prices have come down, I've ordered a demo M8 and a Voigtlander normal equivalent. I hope to keep things simple this time. Of course, we all know how that goes :).

 

John

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1)

All M8 I know have been to Solms for the 'red line fixing'. When fixed in Solms, the M8 seems to work OK. So, the vital question is; has the camera been to Solms for the red line. I would not trust a M8 that hasn't, unless there still is warranty left on it.

 

2)

The batteries. If they are not new within a year or two, regard them as worn out. All too many M8 users hang along with worn out batteries. (Like myself).

 

3)

Do the IR/UV-filters coming along as part of the trade?

 

3)

A look at the general condition of the camera. M8s tends to be used a lot. Don't take that 'has been owned by an old lady who had it parked in her back yard all the time'-crap. Still, M8 users take good care of their camera.

 

4)

The viewfinder is something you have to adjust sooner or later with any Leica M-camera. Here it is just as important to test the lenses and see that they correspond to the distance setting. All my Leicas cameras are 'dead on', but two of my Leica lenses have been for adjustment at Solms.

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1)

All M8 I know have been to Solms for the 'red line fixing'. When fixed in Solms, the M8 seems to work OK. So, the vital question is; has the camera been to Solms for the red line. I would not trust a M8 that hasn't, unless there still is warranty left on it.

 

2)

The batteries. If they are not new within a year or two, regard them as worn out. All too many M8 users hang along with worn out batteries. (Like myself).

 

3)

Do the IR/UV-filters coming along as part of the trade?

 

3)

A look at the general condition of the camera. M8s tends to be used a lot. Don't take that 'has been owned by an old lady who had it parked in her back yard all the time'-crap. Still, M8 users take good care of their camera.

 

4)

The viewfinder is something you have to adjust sooner or later with any Leica M-camera. Here it is just as important to test the lenses and see that they correspond to the distance setting. All my Leicas cameras are 'dead on', but two of my Leica lenses have been for adjustment at Solms.

 

Thanks, Olsen. This is a demo from a Leica dealer. So it has the warranty and two filter offer. I'll check what you suggest. Appreciate the info.

 

John

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1)

All M8 I know have been to Solms for the 'red line fixing'. When fixed in Solms, the M8 seems to work OK. So, the vital question is; has the camera been to Solms for the red line. I would not trust a M8 that hasn't, unless there still is warranty left on it.

 

The demo just arrived, and a quick test shows that it does indeed have the red line problem. Quite pronounced, actually. Not just at high ISOs, but at all ISOs, though it's progressively fainter at lower ISOs. So back it goes to the dealer.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

John

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1)

All M8 I know have been to Solms for the 'red line fixing'. When fixed in Solms, the M8 seems to work OK. So, the vital question is; has the camera been to Solms for the red line. I would not trust a M8 that hasn't, unless there still is warranty left on it.

 

What is 'red line fixing' ? Can anyone kindly explain and illustrate?

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The demo just arrived, and a quick test shows that it does indeed have the red line problem. Quite pronounced, actually. Not just at high ISOs, but at all ISOs, though it's progressively fainter at lower ISOs. So back it goes to the dealer.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

John

 

The best thing is if you could stand by your purchase, but have it fixed at Leica for no cost. Then you know that it is fixed!

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What is 'red line fixing' ? Can anyone kindly explain and illustrate?

 

Quite a few (most!) M8 develop a 'red line', most often in the middle of the picture. Like a red line of stuck pixels. It is most pronounced at high ISO, but after a while it is visible at all ISO levels. Practically all M8 I know (that is quite a few...) have been sent to Solms for warranty repair for this 'red line'. When they then are fixed at Solms, they seem to work OK after that. I have even heard of M8.2s that have had this problem. But I have never heard of M8s that have had to take the trip more than once. This means that the warranty repair fix is permanent.

 

So,-

 

If you are going to buy a 2.hand M8, buy one that has been to Solms for the 'red line fixing'. I would not trust a M8 that hasn't.

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Quite a few (most!) M8 develop a 'red line', most often in the middle of the picture. Like a red line of stuck pixels. It is most pronounced at high ISO, but after a while it is visible at all ISO levels. Practically all M8 I know (that is quite a few...) have been sent to Solms for warranty repair for this 'red line'. When they then are fixed at Solms, they seem to work OK after that. I have even heard of M8.2s that have had this problem. But I have never heard of M8s that have had to take the trip more than once. This means that the warranty repair fix is permanent.

 

So,-

 

If you are going to buy a 2.hand M8, buy one that has been to Solms for the 'red line fixing'. I would not trust a M8 that hasn't.

 

I am not sure if "most" is accurate here. Certainly some have developed this type of fault, but I do not believe that it was a significant number.

Edited by Terry Kelly
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The best thing is if you could stand by your purchase, but have it fixed at Leica for no cost. Then you know that it is fixed!

 

That is good advice. The red line, if apparent, shows a material flaw in the sensor that renders the camera unfit for its purpose and should be fixed free of charge by Leica in any M8, regardless of warranty. When fixed, you have a great camera, no doubt about that!

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I am not sure if "most" is accurate here. Certainly some have developed this type of fault, but I do not believe that it was a significant number.

 

 

I am absolutely sure that - a considerable number - of M8s have had this 'Red Line Problem'. Absolutely 'all' M8s of the Leica community here in Norway, - that I know of, have been to Solms for the Red Line Problem. Something wrong with one shipment? No. These M8s owned by Norwegians were bought from different sources ranging from B & H, New York, Cathay Photo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Farnes Norway etc. - Also: The Red Line Problem has been reported from - a large number - of participants here at L-Camera Forum. You will find a several discussions on this issue here.

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