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Digital Leica M8 / M8.2 / M9 / M-E /Mono / M10 aka "M" Discussions about the Leica M8 /M 8.2 / M9 / M9-P/ M-E / M Monochrom / M10 aka "M": Leica digital M mount rangefinder cameras. Naming the new digital M the "Leica M" is VERY unfortunate as it will only confuse newbies with other Leica M cameras of the the past. Happily there is room for confusion with only the past 59 years of Leica M production ... since Leica introduced the Leica M system in 1953. All Hail for the Leica Marketing Department learning Leica M history!

View Poll Results: M9/Summilux OR M8.2/Noctilux
M8.2 w/ 50mm Noctilux f1 55 16.22%
M9 w/ 50mm Summilux pre-asph f1.4 284 83.78%
Voters: 339. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-11-2011   #26
Brian Sweeney
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The ISO 2500 that I'm getting out of my M9 looks like the ISO 640 from my late production M8. The M9 is new. You are picking up more than a full stop of usable ISO with the M9. Put the 35/1.2 or 50/1.1 Noktons on it, you will have better low-light performance compared with the M8 with Noctilux.

The problem with the Canon 50/1.2 is the type of glass used. It Etches easily when lubricants from the helical outgas and deposit on it. The Black 50/1.8 has the same problem, for some reason the 50/1.4- not as much. I don;t know why, maybe different types of glass were used for different elements and the positioning is a factor.
I have had two Canon 50/1.2's, and sold them on RFF for under $300. One sold recently. They are simply not as good as the 50/1.1 Nokton and are not worth anywhere near the same price.

An M9 shot, ISO 2500, 1/6s, 35/1.2 wide-open, handheld in a Planetarium.



Note the "true black" is at the bottom right of the image. The Planetarium projection depicts looking at a Galaxy. The bottom right is the room itself, blocking part of the projection.

Last edited by Brian Sweeney : 05-11-2011 at 02:06.
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Old 05-11-2011   #27
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Man if the M8 was as bad as the M9 is at 2500, but only at 640 I would throw it in the trash can. I've shot the crap out of digital at high ISOs. Even got a shot or two out of the D700 at 25,600 that was great, but from what I've seen yet I won't be using the M9 above 800. Even converted to black and white I'm not sure I could be happy. Neopan 1600 looks better.
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Old 05-11-2011   #28
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Black is the lower right of the image, what appears to be noise in the main body of the image is a projection of a starfield. Black is black as it should be in the lower right of the frame.

Here is another ISO 2500 shot.



I find it perfectly usable.
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Old 05-11-2011   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deirdre View Post
I have an M8 and I love it to pieces, but if I had the scratch, I'd get the M9.
Same here. I made the switch after selling some gear and saving. I realize I have some learning to do, but comparatively the M8's files process well and with less work than the M9's files. Sharper and closer to "finish" shape out of the camera (better WB for example), sweet-spot size (quicker to process), print really well (surprisingly so at higher iso's).

One lone vote for the M8 and Noctilux. I'd shoot that combo in a heartbeat.
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Old 05-11-2011   #30
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Man if the M8 was as bad as the M9 is at 2500, but only at 640 I would throw it in the trash can.
Excellent idea, except throw it in my trashcan, please.
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Old 05-11-2011   #31
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Lenses endure but camera bodies come and go.

The M8 is yesterday's child (although it is still an excellent camera), and the M9 will also be in this position one day.

The lenses however will last through many changes of bodies. The M8 I have my f:1.0 Noctilux on now is the third Leica body for me with this lens.

If the Noctilux "look" suits your style of shooting and vision of the world, then go for that lens. Outright speed may not necessarily be the primary reason people buy it (bokeh, micro contrast etc). WRT the camera body, the faster shutter in the M8 may just help.

The Noctilux is not for everyone, but only you know if it fits your view of the world. If so, then anything else is a compromise. Develop style with a Noctilux and M8 now and save up and trade the M8 later for (eg) the M10. This may give you the ultimate combination in the end. The base lens signature will (mostly) remain the same on either sized sensor, with vignetting and effective focal length as the obvious major departures.
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Old 05-11-2011   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney View Post
Black is the lower right of the image, what appears to be noise in the main body of the image is a projection of a starfield. Black is black as it should be in the lower right of the frame.

Here is another ISO 2500 shot.



I find it perfectly usable.
Are you shooting DNG? What kind of NR are you using? I have not see anything this clean even out of ISO 1600. I am speaking from my experience with my M9 as I just picked one up. It must have been pretty dark to shoot ISO 2500 in there with a f/1.2 and 1.1 lens. I wasn't saying your star/nebula/whatever image was full of noise, I was saying my images at 2500 were unusable, but perhaps I am leaving a step out in the processing.
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Old 05-11-2011   #33
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I don't get the high-ISO drama. Okay, so the files from the M8/M9 aren't as smooth as from a Canon or Nikon DSLR - but keep in mind that smoothness wipes out detail (not to mention the AA filter on these cameras as well). The key, really, is proper exposure. And if you do any image adjustments - you want to go darker and NOT lighter (which will bring out noise). This was on the M8 at ISO1250, no NR:

(forgive the thing in front of her face - I was so blotto it's a miracle this shot came out at all!)

Yeah, that is absolutely terrible. This is ISO 25600 out of a D700, not 2500, 25600, that's 3.3 stops beyond what the M9 can even do. There is still detail in the shot too, at least as much as your example!


ISO 25600 by NateVenture, on Flickr

I don't expect this performance out of the M9, but this is why people are complaining. I still need more time with my M9 but thus far I've only been happy with 800 out of my M9 while 3200 was better in most ways on my D700.
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Old 05-11-2011   #34
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After looking at the few files I have above ISO 800 from my M9 it seems that it is imperative that the white balance be set correctly. After fixing the white balance the shots look worlds better as the noise doesn't stick out so badly.
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Old 05-11-2011   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister E View Post
Yeah, that is absolutely terrible. This is ISO 25600 out of a D700, not 2500, 25600, that's 3.3 stops beyond what the M9 can even do. There is still detail in the shot too, at least as much as your example!


ISO 25600 by NateVenture, on Flickr

I don't expect this performance out of the M9, but this is why people are complaining. I still need more time with my M9 but thus far I've only been happy with 800 out of my M9 while 3200 was better in most ways on my D700.
What did you do to that poor man? Hand him an airsick bag or two immediately!!
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Old 05-11-2011   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister E View Post
Are you shooting DNG? What kind of NR are you using? I have not see anything this clean even out of ISO 1600. I am speaking from my experience with my M9 as I just picked one up. It must have been pretty dark to shoot ISO 2500 in there with a f/1.2 and 1.1 lens. I wasn't saying your star/nebula/whatever image was full of noise, I was saying my images at 2500 were unusable, but perhaps I am leaving a step out in the processing.
I am shooting 16-bit DNG in the M9, and using Lightroom 3.3 to convert to JPEG. I am not doing anything special: import the DNG into Lightroom, and export it to JPEG. Anything in between is default Lightroom settings, I have not created any profiles.

The museum was "no flash photography allowed" as they used a lot of video projection. The attendant stated "I have to ask you to turn off the flash of your camera". When I told her it did not have one- she asked "How does it take any pictures!"
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Old 05-11-2011   #37
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When I told her it did not have one- she asked "How does it take any pictures!"
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Old 05-12-2011   #38
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For anyone constrained by budget, the Noctilux is not 'worth it' - it's a cult lens with some special qualities (including being often very stiff and slow to focus, which put me right off it), so the Nokton 1.1 will do you fine if f1.1 is where you like to stay.

A pre-asph lux is a more flexible prospect as it can be sharp and (pretty much) doesn't display focus shift - certainly not the major shifts that the Nokton does.

But why are you asking about two different effective focal lengths (FOV's)? If the M8/50 combo suits you for what you do, the M9/50 combo will likely be too wide, so it's more like a 75mm lens you will need - in which case the CV75/1.8 is a staggeringly good lens for the money, in certain respects beating the legendary 75mm Summilux (also a gem, but way pricey, and also a pig to handle).

As others have noted, high iso on the M9 trumps the M8 convincingly - not to mention that I've experience random banding with the M8 at 1250, even in daytime conditions.
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Old 05-13-2011   #39
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About the relatively poor noise performance of M8 / M9 compared to D700 / 5D ... I have yet to see one photo taken on film that comes even close to real 1600 ISO and in color ...
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Old 05-13-2011   #40
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About the relatively poor noise performance of M8 / M9 compared to D700 / 5D ... I have yet to see one photo taken on film that comes even close to real 1600 ISO and in color ...
What? http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=2309...=Natura%201600
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Old 05-13-2011   #41
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Great colors when there is plenty of light but in dark areas ? I mean the really dark part to the left of your photo)

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Old 05-13-2011   #42
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I mean that's still 1600, shot at 1600. I'm not following your complaint.
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Old 05-13-2011   #43
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Sure it is. My point is that C41 film exposed for 1600 ISO does not really deliver 1600ISO performance. If you want some shadow details (or more or better), you have to expose at 1250 or even better 800ISO to get the best out of 1600ISO film at night. That is from my experience.
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Old 05-14-2011   #44
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Get the Noctilux, a lens is for life but a camera is replaceable.

Save up for the M9 (which is the better camera), and use the M8 for a trade in.

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Old 05-14-2011   #45
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M8 + Nokton 35 f1.2 and a nice holiday with the rest
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Old 05-14-2011   #46
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Quote:
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Get the Noctilux, a lens is for life .....
The ease of finding used lenses rather negates this theory

Certain fairly rare lenses actually crop up secondhand fairly often - and conversely some sell well from new but are rare on the used market. 28/2.8 ASPH lenses are rare used, but I presume sell well - it's the kind of lens that does what you want and one tends to keep.

The Noctilux is very much an acquired taste. The insanely slow, heavy focussing (on the copies I've tried) make it, for me, a non-starter. Many buy one and many end up selling it later. For *some* it's a lens for life, but I doubt for many.

It reminds me of my own coffee machine - the La Pavoni Lever. They look lovely, are kinda quirky to use and are always on ebay. People buy them as they look stunning, and think they will produce easy, great coffee. They don't (in lazy hands) and quickly find their way back to ebay.......
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Old 05-14-2011   #47
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Sure it is. My point is that C41 film exposed for 1600 ISO does not really deliver 1600ISO performance. If you want some shadow details (or more or better), you have to expose at 1250 or even better 800ISO to get the best out of 1600ISO film at night. That is from my experience.
Dear Gabor,

True ISO 1600 delivers full shadow detail at EI 1600 -- IF you're metering right, i.e. reading shadow detail using a shadow index. Few meters are designed that way and even fewer are used by people who know how to use them.

In other words, blame the meter or the photographer, not the ISO speed (assuming there are any ISO 1600 films left).

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-14-2011   #48
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Roger,

to make my point more clear, I meant "1600ISO box-speed C41 film". The one I had in mind and have often used (Still available from Fuji) is the already mentioned Natura1600, box-speed 1600ISO. That film does not deliver good shadow details when metered for the shadows and set ISO to box-speed.

Cheers,

Gabor
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Old 05-14-2011   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
Roger,

to make my point more clear, I meant "1600ISO box-speed C41 film". The one I had in mind and have often used (Still available from Fuji) is the already mentioned Natura1600, box-speed 1600ISO. That film does not deliver good shadow details when metered for the shadows and set ISO to box-speed.

Cheers,

Gabor
All that being said, the M9 is no better.
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Old 05-14-2011   #50
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Roger,

to make my point more clear, I meant "1600ISO box-speed C41 film". The one I had in mind and have often used (Still available from Fuji) is the already mentioned Natura1600, box-speed 1600ISO. That film does not deliver good shadow details when metered for the shadows and set ISO to box-speed.

Cheers,

Gabor
Dear Gabor,

Ah, fair enough. I have long harboured doubts about that one myself. Presumably it is 1250 (to meet ISO standards of +/- 1/3 stop) but it does seem a bit slow even for that speed.

Sorry for doubting you.

Cheers,

R.
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