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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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Rivals to M8 today ... ?
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
dee
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Rivals to M8 today ... ?

I was thinking of my M8 , modified to a stunning Brian Sweeney Contax mounted J3 as my classic digital .
OK , when it dies , that will be it , but I will have enjoyed a few years of classic camera pleasure .

I wonder if it's expensive Canon/Nikon contemporaries have enjoyed the same long term pleasure ?
In some ways , the M8 defies, even celebrates it's older sensor and restrictions in a manner which may not be acceptable with an older DSLR .
For me , it's much like using a Leica M or my Contax/Kiev with slow monochrome film.

My Fuji X-Pro1 / 27mm is undoubtedly superior in many respects - as would be most entry level interchangeable lens cameras of today . It gets restricted usage against the Pentax/Sony systems , so I hope that it will last well .

But my M8 is something - otherwise ...

dee
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
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Yes, Copal made shutters are not as long lasting as shutters in Canonikon DLSRs. But, common... people like me are finally able to buy M8 now as true classic under good price.
Hopefully, Leica will have some parts for M8 for next few years....
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
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Love the M8,

Thankful I ran into another and this time for good.

The Chome M8 is a beautiful thing!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
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Mine is chrome of course because I grew up with chrome Minolta SLRs.
I love it !
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Amedeo Contaxed Leica M8/Brian Sweeney J3.
Minoltas and Kontaxes , Leica likes.
Digitals including classic-to-me Leica Dig3 and comfortable Sony A290 .
Upstaged by stylish Fuji X-Pro 1 and quirky Pentax K-S1
Puns,Cameras and snapshots keeping ASD and dees'ruptive Girl/Boy/Me?' constant dee'sorientation contained.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
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Yeah, that's the thing... if you want a "cheap" digital camera with a mechanical rangefinder, you don't have many options (M8 / R-D1). If you just want A camera, then you have many options. Only rangefinder lovers (whether past or present) can understand the former.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
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While I might have had my questions about the Copal shutters, if you look at the Nikon FM/FE/2/... family, I think you will see pretty much the same thing. They've lasted a LOT longer than I ever expected them to so I think you are in pretty good shape.

Perhaps pick up a second working and any parts bodies priced right.

Go for it!

B2 (;->
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
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If you hadn't mentioned the X-Pro1, I would have suggested it...at current prices, I still think it's a great bargain. I say this even now that I have an X-Pro2.

I wanted to return to M8 a while back, and ended up buying two in a row with ruined sensors, and finally threw in the towel. But I still think about it every now and then...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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I had Leica M8 and I just didn't get in a grove with it, and now since I have a Fuji
X-pro1, I'm pretty happy with the lens combos I have. the M8 still is a great little
camera but it's just showing it age a bit.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Range-rover View Post
I had Leica M8 and I just didn't get in a grove with it, and now since I have a Fuji
X-pro1, I'm pretty happy with the lens combos I have. the M8 still is a great little
camera but it's just showing it age a bit.
I had a similar experience. I desperately wanted to like the M8 and while I kind of do like it it is mostly still not the camera I take in hand when I want to go out on a photo expedition.

There are two problems that spoil it for me. The first is its viewfinder which with its 0.68 magnification (and my marginal eyes) makes it quite hard to focus accurately in most circumstances. The most recent iteration (the M10) rectifies this I believe. But I certainly cannot focus my M8 quickly, I have to "faff" about to make sure I have nailed focus and even then it can be dicey. To make it worse if you are serious about shooting lenses wide open (which I prefer), the camera's rangefinder may need regular calibrating to keep it accurate. That gets expensive quickly. If you doubt me on this check out Google and you will find many, many M8 users asking how to re-calibrate the thing themselves. I don't know why it is so delicate - it just is compared to older M cameras! (Even though they claim the RF mechanism is identical).

The second deal breaker for me is the ISO performance and dynamic range. The sensor was behind the pack when the M8 first came out. Now it is perfectly antediluvian. You can shoot up to 640 ISO but beyond that it does not perform well in poor light (although maybe OK in good light up to a point). Given Leica M cameras were originally predicated on being THE cameras for natural light shooting this is a significant failure in my book and one Leica should never have accepted when the camera was first out. Even then other cameras could shoot happily at far higher ISOs.

I can live with both these shortcomings if I anticipate I will be shooting static subjects (minimizing the focusing issues) in good light (minimizing the ISO worries) on a given day but other than that I tend to reach for one of my other cameras - it is simply easier. I accept that not everyone feels this way I grant you but for me while not quite a deal breaker it certainly takes the shine off the camera. Given I paid $3000 Australian for a camera body now worth less than half that this makes it even less shiny. Still if you are willing to live with that........................
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
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Leica M8 rivals are still the Epson R-D1 and Leica M9. One is a bit less capable and cheaper, the other is full frame and more expensive.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
To make it worse if you are serious about shooting lenses wide open (which I prefer), the camera's rangefinder may need regular calibrating to keep it accurate. That gets expensive quickly. If you doubt me on this check out Google and you will find many, many M8 users asking how to re-calibrate the thing themselves. I don't know why it is so delicate - it just is compared to older M cameras! (Even though they claim the RF mechanism is identical).
It's not particularly delicate, film is just more forgiving. Mine has not been calibrated since 2013, and I see no deviation in practical use. I have not done a critical test on a tripod since beginning of 2016 I believe. Back then it was accurate in the critical test as well. The camera has been around the world a few times between 2013 to beginning of 2016 and again today and it has seen plenty of bumps. I hear a lot of cameras have come from the factory incorrectly calibrated, but I have no first-hand experience.

While there may be cameras and users with much more trouble, this is not a specific M8 issue.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
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I purchased an M8 in great shape second hand a few years ago for around $1,200 and have used it for travel, family portraits and to make a quantum leap in my learning of photography. I have bought many other cameras in different formats but always come back to this one. It's not as versatile as my current "flagship" the Nikon Df in terms of low light photography, range of focal lengths and possibility of using zooms, but for a walkabout with a single lens it still makes a great companion, even with its limitations. And aside from some tiny dots on the sensor that I may never get around to dealing with, that appear primarily in super small apertures, i have never had performance issues or even had the rangefinder come out of alignment. The M8 also has its own kind of versatility - brilliant old style sensor for daylight shots, superb b/w with vintage lenses (enough to keep me from lusting for a Monochrom) , IR-like capability with a deep red filter and often the cropped sensor means you are getting the best of your old lenses...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #13
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I try to keep the M8's shortcomings in perspective. Yes it was super expensive when introduced--but what Leica is not? I think many expected a perfect 10 given the high price, but ask Canon/Nikon about glitches irrespective of price (D800, D2H, 1DMk3, etc.). In 2006, the technical limitations of CCD based sensors (relatively high noise and weak high ISO performance, limited DR. etc.) plagued all such cameras--improved processing power in newer cameras has resulted in lower noise. From my own use, the M8's CCD performance in RAW was close to the Nikon D200 and other Nikon CCD sensors, but the biggest difference was going from Lightroom 2 to 4 with its much improved NR engine. As for UV-IR pollution problem, Leica apparently used a thin glass stack with weak UV/IR filtration to maximize M glass performance--and Sony A7 users report that its relatively thick glass with M wides results in poor corner performance. Not being an apologist, but rather putting things in context. For me, this tool still works fine if used within its limitations, even if it's not the shiniest or newest.
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An Answer To Your Actual Question
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #14
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An Answer To Your Actual Question

[quote=dee;2701865]...
I wonder if it's expensive Canon/Nikon contemporaries have enjoyed the same long term pleasure ?
.../QUOTE]

You received many helpful answers involving rangefinder cameras.

Neither Nikon nor Canon have sold rangefinders for a very long time.

I propose the Nikon D700 and D300 can provide similar "long term pleasure" for those who enjoy DSLRs.

The D700 is well built. It can take a lot of abuse. The shutter life should average about 150K cycles. It is reasonably well-sealed. I used them in heat, cold, rain and snow with no issues. The D700 AF system can be set up to excel in action photography and its burst speed is adequate.

The D700's signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range are similar to Fujifilm XTrans II cameras.

The D300 is similar in build quality and you can get a battery grip. However its the technical IQ is dated (smaller sensor area). On the plus side, there are more AF lenses available now than when I owned the D300. And the AF is unexpectedly great.

Of course these bodies are relatively large and heavy.

I know nothing about Canon cameras (except during the time frame you discuss their analog-to-digital converter technologies were seriously out-dated).
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lss View Post
Leica M8 rivals are still the Epson R-D1 and Leica M9. One is a bit less capable and cheaper, the other is full frame and more expensive.
Is the R-D1 less capable than the M8? The M8 has a smaller crop factor, but so many other limitations: relatively high noise, inferior high ISO performance, weak UV/IR filtration, slow write speeds, and the coffee stain issue with the now unreplaceable rear screen---as well as a higher price although lately M8 prices seem to be softening more than RD-1 prices.

I would be interested in the opinions of users who have had/have both cameras.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16
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Thanks for the feedback - I guess that my Nikon D200 moment was taken up by a Pentax K10D , which I confess to finding much use with a manual 50mm f1.7 Pentax .
[ I am content with lenses from around 40mm to 100mm equivalent .]
The M8 was an inheritance buy , as was my much appreciated Leica Digilux 3 which is my all time 'classic' DSLR - glitches and all !
I had no RF experience prior to the M8 , but liked the experience and handling .
It is a slow camera , but on screen at least , I don't seem to have any focusing issues .
Of course , the M8 is outdated , but mono images within it's limitations remain more than acceptable .
i shall miss it when it dies !
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Minoltas and Kontaxes , Leica likes.
Digitals including classic-to-me Leica Dig3 and comfortable Sony A290 .
Upstaged by stylish Fuji X-Pro 1 and quirky Pentax K-S1
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #17
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I really like M8 colors.



I like M8 colors even wit no IR cut filters attached. Most of the time it renders fine, correctable in LR or I take it as my cinefilm developed in ECN-2 by myself with wide approach for WB. In fact, I like M8 ISO 1250 color shots, because they have film lomography look in them:





R-D1 colors are nothing special to me at all. It has good ISO 1600? I printed M8 bw ISO2500 on 8.5x11 archival paper by pigment inks. It looks nice, just like HP5+ @1600.

And with support argument, R-D1 is out of support by 2013. I don't remember which modification lost it in 2016. Where is R-D1xG which is until 2021. I bet, this one is hard to find and cost same as M8.2.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18
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The M8 is the perfect second camera with the M9 as this first camera.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
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Can't speak for the particular field you suggest, but I have just added an R-D1 to my collection of user cameras, that also includes a Pentax K100D (same sensor as the R-D1) and a Sony a3000. If your question is "what similarly aged SLR camera has the versatility of an M8" then any of the early Pentax digitals would pass muster. I have Pentax lenses in both lens mounts from 1959 to current - and the 2006 K100D will use them all. Admittedly metering is dodgy on some lenses but photographically it functions very well. And while the absolute cost of a used Pentax digital is laughable compared to an M8, on the other hand the NEW price was laughable as well so the percentage residual value would be every bit as high as an M8. The nearest equivalent to an M8 would probably be a K10D.

Of interest, the R-D1 eats the Pentax for breakfast on image quality despite using the same sensor. I haven't played with RAW development so maybe that can be clawed back with cleverness but out-of-camera there is no contest - and the R-D1 is older. ISO 1600 is la-la land for the Pentax and perfectly reasonable (though with some noise) for the Epson.

For functional capacity, though, the Sony is the king. It will use any of the lenses the other cameras will, with much better IQ across all domains and cost less new than either camera, and indeed less than I paid for the R-D1 used (and I got a great price). Understanding there are some limits, I would go for an a7 as the best non-Leica replacement for an M8, even though it means giving up a rangefinder.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
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I guess the Canon/Nikon contemporaries to the M8 would be the Canon EOS 5D and the Nikon F6. I think that Canon ended official service support for the original 5D, but has released four updated models, now up to the 5D Mark IV. The F6 is still in production.

In terms of alternative but not necessarily rival, what about the Ricoh GXR with M-Mount module? It's not a CCD rangefinder and is also discontinued, but RFF does list it in the same sub-forum as the M8 for whatever that's worth.
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M8
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #21
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M8

Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
The M8 is the perfect second camera with the M9 as this first camera.
RAid

You should stop by Leicaplace and see the thread on M9 vM240.

First and second camera selection is sort of a function of what you own first.

anyway, I would vote for M240 and M8
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasmformyzombie View Post
I would be interested in the opinions of users who have had/have both cameras.
Well, I am one having used the two cameras alongside each other for a couple of years. I had the Epson for about a year before getting the M8, and it's now couple of years since I sold the Epson.

I think the R-D1 is one of the coolest cameras ever made, but its only real advantages against the M8 are that it is less expensive and the need for IR cut filters is significantly smaller on the Epson. The 1:1 viewfinder is very nice, but limits wide-angle use.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hap View Post
RAid

You should stop by Leicaplace and see the thread on M9 vM240.

First and second camera selection is sort of a function of what you own first.

anyway, I would vote for M240 and M8
I use ISO 160 almost all the time, so with a low ISO setting and usage in bright sunshine, it would be a loss of money to sell the M9 and get a M240.
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