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Leica M8 / M8.2 / Ricoh GXR Smaller than full frame digital Leica M mount cameras. The Ricoh is included as a less expensive and viable digital Leica M lens platform.

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an ode to the M8
Old 02-13-2015   #1
maitani
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an ode to the M8

share the M8 joy.

super nice brochure:

http://author.leicam.esc58.com/res/d...schuere_dt.pdf

super nice video, by wim wenders, one of the best ever made for a camera imo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2tBlEt6Too

after all the years,
I'm still using the M8 daily it's my go everywhere camera, and remains besides many haters/and online reviews, an extremely capable image maker until today. I had for sure 20+ digital cameras over the last years, shorter or longer, but the M8 files in colour, remind me of good slidefilm. and the bw conversions out of it are beautiful.

IR error is an asset for BW work, it' does colour and BW greatly
crop factor 1.33 is not as penalizing as the 1.5/ 1.6/ 2.0 crops of other systems. it takes the sweet spot of most older glass too, so a non issue at least for me, ir/filter solution controls the error well if it's a problem for critical colour work.

only digital leica (besides R9/DMR) to do 1/8000 sec, great for the noctiluxes on a bright day.

DNG files are future proof, and very high quality is possible with a good raw converter as capture-one or similar.

it takes the 'modern' SD cards, and has come down so low in price, you don't feel guilty owning two.. less than half price of an M9 but for sure not less than half the camera, actually, the difference beween the two is negligable.

battery life is as good as M9/MM , no wonder, same battery,

framelines and rf patch is superb, very crisp and clear. easy to work with (choose between M8 or M8.2 if you prefer the 2m accuracy framelines)

the M8 is basically, what Nikon tried to do with the DF, just in 2006!
pure essence and joy in photography without diving through endless menus and settings.

please keep this topic pacific, M8 negatives have been documented all over the internet, but I'm interested why do you LOVE yours, let's make this a positive-vibe M8 topic
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Old 02-13-2015   #2
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My M8.2 made way for the Monochrome but i was really really happy with the M8.2. In fact I am constantly thinking of adding another M8 for more flexibility (Great color and great B/W).

It used the sweetspot of all my lenses with just a bit more depth of field which was nice for fast street and kids photography anyway!
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Old 02-13-2015   #3
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Had an M8.2 for a number of years and it was a great camera. My only issue with it was the crop factor and the lenses. Really needed a full frame version so when I went out to shoot, and had my film Leica along, I could interchange lenses and have the same field of view whether digital or film.
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Old 02-13-2015   #4
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The M8.2 was the camera I loved but could not use fully. The images were gorgeous, but the camera was too heavy and unreliable for me (I had too many Ms in Solms for my taste) and the constant dust on the sensor made me part with it.
Its a camera I miss....nevertheless. I am happy for those that can fully enjoy it!
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Old 02-13-2015   #5
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i bought an M8 when they first came out. 2 in fact. what a miserable experience that was. vertical lines, hot pixels, banding... one disappeared in service for months. after years of using an M in the field, i was officially Leica critic number 1.

fast forward a good number of years and low and behold, i get my mitts on an M8. just barely broken in and i am quite happy with it. granted i did not pay $5500 this time.

it has all but replaced my M6. i am no gentle fellow and this M8 keeps on rattling off the frames. 10 megapickles is plenty for me and, most importantly, the editors.
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Old 02-13-2015   #6
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I've had one since they came out. Mostly, it sat in cabinet. Then I got tired of humping Canon DSLR stuff around and got it out. Still does wonders. More to the point, there's a thread on the Leica Users forum about getting high ISOs out of the M8 without noise. I've been shooting it at the equivalent of 1250/2500 ISO with great results. For information from the developer of this idea, go to Leica Users. It's made the M8 a useable camera for me. BTW, was having shutter cocking problems until I quit using seven-year-old batteries - DUH.
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Old 02-13-2015   #7
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I agree - had mine for about five years so took advantage of someone else's depreciation hit. It's been lovely to use, though I'm more of a film guy, and the results have been tremendous. Contemplated both the M9 and MM but really couldn't see that what they offered on top of the M8 was needed by me.
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Old 02-13-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maitani View Post
share the M8 joy.

super nice brochure:

http://author.leicam.esc58.com/res/d...schuere_dt.pdf

super nice video, by wim wenders, one of the best ever made for a camera imo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2tBlEt6Too

after all the years,
I'm still using the M8 daily it's my go everywhere camera, and remains besides many haters/and online reviews, an extremely capable image maker until today. I had for sure 20+ digital cameras over the last years, shorter or longer, but the M8 files in colour, remind me of good slidefilm. and the bw conversions out of it are beautiful.

IR error is an asset for BW work, it' does colour and BW greatly
crop factor 1.33 is not as penalizing as the 1.5/ 1.6/ 2.0 crops of other systems. it takes the sweet spot of most older glass too, so a non issue at least for me, ir/filter solution controls the error well if it's a problem for critical colour work.

only digital leica (besides R9/DMR) to do 1/8000 sec, great for the noctiluxes on a bright day.

DNG files are future proof, and very high quality is possible with a good raw converter as capture-one or similar.

it takes the 'modern' SD cards, and has come down so low in price, you don't feel guilty owning two.. less than half price of an M9 but for sure not less than half the camera, actually, the difference beween the two is negligable.

battery life is as good as M9/MM , no wonder, same battery,

framelines and rf patch is superb, very crisp and clear. easy to work with (choose between M8 or M8.2 if you prefer the 2m accuracy framelines)

the M8 is basically, what Nikon tried to do with the DF, just in 2006!
pure essence and joy in photography without diving through endless menus and settings.

please keep this topic pacific, M8 negatives have been documented all over the internet, but I'm interested why do you LOVE yours, let's make this a positive-vibe M8 topic
Considering its relative digital age and its very low value now compared to new digital M's,
I really like seeing appreciation for the M8/8.2.

Stephen
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Old 02-14-2015   #9
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I think it must be added that the M8 requires a bit of thought in use, much like the film M

If you want to shoot aperture priority all the time, with auto white balance and have no interest in reading up on how the camera meters then this is not the camera for you. If you have a history of shooting film and understand that you need to be in the driver seat with the M8 to really see what it can do, maybe so.

What I particularly like is the interface with the camera remains fairly consistent, and simple. I will take usability, in relation to my own needs, over high megapixel counts etc.

I shoot everyday and in my case, staying on top of that much film is a constant struggle. The M8 easily matches what I can do with film and is now quite affordable. So for at least 1 of the current paying gigs it is a welcome platform to work on.
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Old 02-15-2015   #10
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It's the best camera at a price point that matches my salary.
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Old 02-15-2015   #11
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Been using the M8 for 2 months now and really liking it after 10 years of DSLR shooting. Not too worried about the 1.33x crop factor which turns my 28mm lens into a 37mm equivalent. I like the way it allows 14bit RAW shooting in the hidden "service menu" mode - an added bonus although the RAW files are 20mb instead of 10mb for standard DNG files.
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Old 02-15-2015   #12
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What is the easiest way to switch the M8 to the service menu?
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Old 02-15-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
What is the easiest way to switch the M8 to the service menu?
Press:

Right arrow button 4 times
then
Left arrow button 3 times
then
Right arrow button 1 time

Then press "set" and select compression option of "JPG fine+RAW"
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Old 02-15-2015   #14
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Thanks. Do I have to repeat these steps each time I use the camera?
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Old 02-15-2015   #15
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I have my M8 since 2007, and it went through all the "Kinderkrankheiten" (IR issues, range finder adjustments and the dreaded red vertical lines thing). May favorite lenses are the 1.4/50mm Lux, followed by the 2.8/21 Biogon and the 2.8/90 Elmarit.

I still like my M8 a lot. The 1/8000 shutter and 1/250 max sync are a plus, and the white balance doesn't bother me (I just set it to "daylight" and correct later if needed). However, a bit more usable ISO would be nice, and sometimes I even think about how much easier my life would be with AF and live-view.

I normally don't shoot for B&W, but many times I can "recover" a shot like this:
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Old 02-15-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Thanks. Do I have to repeat these steps each time I use the camera?
You have to set it to service menu each time you switch it on - I tend to disable "auto power off" for this reason.
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Old 02-16-2015   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boliston View Post
Press:

Right arrow button 4 times
then
Left arrow button 3 times
then
Right arrow button 1 time

Then press "set" and select compression option of "JPG fine+RAW"
thanks for this, had almost had forgotten about the 14bit trick, will try it out, makes the M8 even better :-)
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Old 02-16-2015   #18
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My M8-2 is still working hard and shooting images that I like. It remains a very capable camera despite its detractors. Every time I consider changing it for an M9 I only have to look through some of the images it has made to make me decide to keep it. Leica's first digital rangefinder may have its flaws but its charms thoroughly exceed them as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 02-16-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boliston View Post
You have to set it to service menu each time you switch it on - I tend to disable "auto power off" for this reason.
Thank you. This helps.
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Old 02-16-2015   #20
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My first digital Leica purchased late last year, originally looking at a M9/M9P then the sensor story broke cover. Put me off one and did me a favour because I get great files and saved loads of money by getting an M8.
Keep reading all the negatives but you still get great files which ultimately is what it's all about, regards Rob
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Old 02-20-2015   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtimes View Post

Hi Folks, could someone elaborate abont the service menu? Should You start this arrow sequence from the basic menu ? I tried but did not Succeed to bring up any specific Screen.
i do the arrow button presses with the menu switched off - its only when i press "set" that the menu actually switches on
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Old 03-01-2015   #22
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Long live the M8 ...... It is too my favourite and since I got it upgraded to M8U it works far more better in all the performance .
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bought a second body
Old 03-09-2015   #23
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bought a second body

I like the M8 so much I bought a second body in January.
Now have a black, and my new silver with <5,000 clicks.

My range of lenses suits the crop factor so don't really miss that at all.

Great not having to buy new chargers, batteries, etc in an upgrade.
The APS-H size sensor suits me well, and don't really see the need to go FF (at the moment )
Personally I reckon the UV/IR filters are a blessing in disguise, tuning the light to the sensor.
all best Dave S
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Old 03-10-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maitani View Post
share the M8 joy.

super nice brochure:

http://author.leicam.esc58.com/res/d...schuere_dt.pdf

super nice video, by wim wenders, one of the best ever made for a camera imo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2tBlEt6Too

after all the years,
I'm still using the M8 daily it's my go everywhere camera, and remains besides many haters/and online reviews, an extremely capable image maker until today. I had for sure 20+ digital cameras over the last years, shorter or longer, but the M8 files in colour, remind me of good slidefilm. and the bw conversions out of it are beautiful.

IR error is an asset for BW work, it' does colour and BW greatly
crop factor 1.33 is not as penalizing as the 1.5/ 1.6/ 2.0 crops of other systems. it takes the sweet spot of most older glass too, so a non issue at least for me, ir/filter solution controls the error well if it's a problem for critical colour work.

only digital leica (besides R9/DMR) to do 1/8000 sec, great for the noctiluxes on a bright day.

DNG files are future proof, and very high quality is possible with a good raw converter as capture-one or similar.

it takes the 'modern' SD cards, and has come down so low in price, you don't feel guilty owning two.. less than half price of an M9 but for sure not less than half the camera, actually, the difference beween the two is negligable.

battery life is as good as M9/MM , no wonder, same battery,

framelines and rf patch is superb, very crisp and clear. easy to work with (choose between M8 or M8.2 if you prefer the 2m accuracy framelines)

the M8 is basically, what Nikon tried to do with the DF, just in 2006!
pure essence and joy in photography without diving through endless menus and settings.

please keep this topic pacific, M8 negatives have been documented all over the internet, but I'm interested why do you LOVE yours, let's make this a positive-vibe M8 topic
forgot to add, it also has the round battery indicator/counter led display on top -> removed in the M9, and yes frame selector ->removed in the ME
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Old 03-10-2015   #25
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The 1.3 crop can be beneficial... it avoids the red edges wide lenses often produce on full-frame. And allows more use for 15, 18, and 21mm lenses than I would get with full-frame... where for me they're a bit extreme. Fortunately I have appropriate accessory viewfinders for these lenses on the M8.

The M8 is a great camera IMO once you accept and embrace the need for UV/IR Cut filters and 6-bit coding on the lenses.
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Old 03-14-2015   #26
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or rather the Party is over
well, everybody knows, after parties are sometimes the best.
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Old 03-16-2015   #27
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Started with the Epson RD-1 and then the M8.2, both with the great Voigtlander 28/1.9 as the only lens.

Both the M8.2 and the lens is now worn and brassing but still going strong and making great images so no reason to stop using it.

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Old 04-29-2015   #28
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forgot to add, unique on the M8.2:

put the dial on S (this snap automatic-something-mode..)
press menu, then set to black+white

now A allows you to shoot colour aperture priority, one dial-turn to S allows you turn the 8.2 from colour to a monochrome (jpg) machine with no effort. very quick and intuitive if you want to switch between colour and bw (without diving the menu's) it's my default setting.
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Old 04-29-2015   #29
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Love my M8, sold the first one and then bought another. Click the link below to see some of my M8 jepgs. There also are some Fuji X, Leica & Rollei film photos also.

https://slate.adobe.com/a/7YZ5X
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Old 05-04-2015   #30
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I was scrolling through some M8 images non of which were shot with anything more special than a 35mm Color Scopar / clean Summitar / amazing FED collapsible plus more recently J8 / J2 and Helios with adapter and there is just 'something indefinable about the images that my modern Sony a35 with 50mm just cannot aspire to.
I suspect that deliberation has much to do with it because taking out Emma8 is always an occasion as I wish to preserve my once in a lifetime inheritance purchase .
Howver, for an admitted snap shooter, there is something special about this outdated and much maligned camera
dee .
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Arvid's unlocking of the RAWs is awesome!
Old 05-18-2015   #31
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Arvid's unlocking of the RAWs is awesome!

Hi all,

Have owned my M8 for a couple of months. Finally downloaded Arvid's converter for the RAW files. Wow! My files look like they have gotten at least a stop better in terms of noise... No big deal for users of current era cameras, but a big deal for the M8! I will probably use this function indoors, and the regular Leica-made 8-bit DNG for outdoors.

I should add that I'm pretty-well computer illiterate in terms of manipulating lines in DOS. The installation process was about as painless as it gets; I think it's worth a try.

Thanks Arvid!
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Old 05-21-2015   #32
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Hope you will get it back soon Helen

Great pic of Eric(?) by the way.
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Old 05-21-2015   #33
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Hi Helen,

Hope you get it back soon, It really is a great looking camera, but calling
them dinosaur's I don't know, when I called Canon a while ago about my
EOS1DS the rep called it a Dinosaur, but they still great cameras and take
great pictures.
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Old 06-09-2015   #34
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hi,

i sort of came to the same conclusion (on why M8) a while ago and pulled the trigger on an m8. i am now waiting for it to arrive. One question that has been bugging me, do i have to use the Lens detection or lens coding features OR can i just pluck in a lens and use it as-is ? i do mainly B&W with a smattering of 50 and 35mm LTM lenses (as well a m-lenses).

tks!
raytoei
(who almost uses only film cameras)
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It is simple, it produces the perfect colors, and B&W
Old 06-09-2015   #35
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It is simple, it produces the perfect colors, and B&W

I had a new one for two years, then in 2012, I sold it to buy the M9. Used the M9 until now. Sent the M9 for three months to Leica for sensor replacement and bought a used M8.u, to be used for the 3 months. However, I am now keeping the M9 and the M8.u. The one I take with me 24/7 is the M8.u. Only in special occasions, I use the M9. Also, I shoot mostly B&W on the M8.
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Old 06-10-2015   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
hi,

i sort of came to the same conclusion (on why M8) a while ago and pulled the trigger on an m8. i am now waiting for it to arrive. One question that has been bugging me, do i have to use the Lens detection or lens coding features OR can i just pluck in a lens and use it as-is ? i do mainly B&W with a smattering of 50 and 35mm LTM lenses (as well a m-lenses).

tks!
raytoei
(who almost uses only film cameras)
I just received one myself and as you said just pluck your lens on and
the pictures in B/W come out great.

Range
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Old 06-10-2015   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
28mm is Lovely
Helen is right - I rarely use my 28mm on film but on my M8 it's lovely. I have the Voigtlander 28mm f2 m-mount and really rate this lens.

Looking back through my old photos using it with the M8 shows they can produce lovely summertime monochromes of dappled sunlight through foliage, and I usually just use the out of the camera b+w jpeg settings.
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Old 06-10-2015   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
hi,

i sort of came to the same conclusion (on why M8) a while ago and pulled the trigger on an m8. i am now waiting for it to arrive. One question that has been bugging me, do i have to use the Lens detection or lens coding features OR can i just pluck in a lens and use it as-is ? i do mainly B&W with a smattering of 50 and 35mm LTM lenses (as well a m-lenses).

tks!
raytoei
(who almost uses only film cameras)
Oooh! There will be a cheap sale @ "clubsnap dot com" soon, I think

M8 + Canon LTM 35/1.8
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Old 06-10-2015   #39
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Well this thread has got me thinking :-) What would be a reasonable price to pay for a low-shutter count m8 or m8.2? Looks like KEH prices start at $1700. How easy is it to encode lenses and is it absolutely necessary to do?
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Old 06-10-2015   #40
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Hi,

I'm new to the forum and an M8 user (amongst other cameras).

I decided to take a leap into digital rangefinders last December. I wanted to try a digital Leica as I love my M6. I went for the M8 based on my budget as M9 secondhand values are quite strong in the UK. I got it at a low price - about £800 iirc.

I love the M8 despite many of its drawbacks...

10mp...
enough for me and in the region of my scanned film
1.3x crop...
I wanted full frame so my lenses paired up between bodies but for the price I can live without it.
Noise...
I dislike this modern phenomenon of ultra-clean high-iso images so it doesn't bother me too much. I would prefer it to be a little better though.
Poor LCD...
I find it useless except to change settings. I like this though - if the camera had an ISO dial I would happily live without!


I very much view my M8 as an M6 loaded with endless colour film. An added benefit is not having to pay for the increasingly expensive C41/E6 film and chemicals something which will make the camera pay for itself in the long run. I also don't have the hassle of scanning (a real labour of love for B&W). And there's also the fact that software is so good these days I can take my M8 files and make them look like any colour film I choose.

Some people here might be interested to note that I just got my M8 back from Germany (literally this morning) after a major repair. The shutter locked up on me a couple of months ago and I was getting an error message. The camera was a brick. Apparently the fault was some sort of broken circuit board and the sensor / shutter comes together? Anyway, Leica fixed the shutter, fitted a new sensor, and did their usual excellent job of checking the rest of the camera over. The repair wasn't too cheap but luckily I could claim on my camera insurance. So contrary to some rumours they do have some spares for the M8.

I now feel lucky to have a 'brand new' old M8!
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