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Old 02-26-2012   #81
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Ade-oh, Exactly.

I see a correlation between how much time and passion I give to my photography and the quality of the results, irrespective of what camera system I use, digital or otherwise. Personally, I made the decision a while ago that I would prefer to spend a lot of time making film based images than digital ones. I do not see digital as more convenient for making my best work, only more convenient for making more work. Sometimes the latter is important, but I try to lean towards the former.

From what you are saying, a used M9 sounds the best bet. The M10 will most likely cost 8K or more and could be some way off, with doubtful availability for some time after release. If this is a concern now, the M9 seems to be the only act in town... (comments about X100 and X-Pro considered).
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Old 02-26-2012   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Wow, so many don't like the M9. To me, it is the best camera I've ever owned... and I've owned a lot (M2, M3, M4, M4-2, M6, D700, Hasselblad, and dozens more, etc.) Seems to me that the price tag makes people make excuses for why it isn't as good as a "real" Leica, but it is certainly a real Leica. I get that it isn't as quiet as a M2, or doesn't use the almighty film, and costs way too much... but it is a hell of a camera that is capable of superb quality. The M9 gives me more satisfaction than any other camera ever. Sure, it's probably the right place, right time for the camera, and the fact that I've never been happier with photography that taints my view here, but I never regretted buying it for one second. Keith, go for it.
Yeah totally agree. If I happened upon a sum of money, I'd buy one and just use it for the next 10-15 years. Just become really really snug with it. It really is pretty close to the ultimate camera.
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Old 02-26-2012   #83
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Wow, so many don't like the M9. To me, it is the best camera I've ever owned... and I've owned a lot (M2, M3, M4, M4-2, M6, D700, Hasselblad, and dozens more, etc.) Seems to me that the price tag makes people make excuses for why it isn't as good as a "real" Leica, but it is certainly a real Leica. I get that it isn't as quiet as a M2, or doesn't use the almighty film, and costs way too much... but it is a hell of a camera that is capable of superb quality. The M9 gives me more satisfaction than any other camera ever. Sure, it's probably the right place, right time for the camera, and the fact that I've never been happier with photography that taints my view here, but I never regretted buying it for one second. Keith, go for it.


Yeah ... the whole "It's not a real Leica!" theory mystifies me?

A Summitar or Summicron that fitted onto the 1954 M3 also fits straight onto the 2010/2012 M9 ... no adapter needed!

Good grief ... I'm starting to sound like a fanboy!
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Old 02-26-2012   #84
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Since you prefer manual focus cameras, your digital body options are greatly limited. This assumes the reduction in angle-of-view is unacceptable when using your M lenses on bodies with smaller sensors. It would be for me.

The M9 is the only practical solution. As I remember you only need superb signal-to-noise ratio performance for your Gallery gig, so the M9's short coming is not relevant.

If you sold all your M lenses you might be able to switch to a medium format digital body with a couple of lenses. I'm not sure what you would gain with regard to your personal work. Obviously the M9 is much more portable.

Finally I apologize in advance for this personal observation. If I left my adult son a sum of money, I would want him to enjoy what ever he choose to do with the funds. If he bought a camera I might even smile at the thought of him thinking about me as he used it. In the decades to follow the camera may disappear, but there's a chance my son would still enjoy the photographs from the camera. I would be grateful if my son (and others) benefited from my death in this way.
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Old 02-26-2012   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Good grief ... I'm starting to sound like a fanboy!
many of us probably are closet-Leica-fanboys

Keith seem to be "spoiled" by D700, so no crop-sensor will do
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Old 02-26-2012   #86
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Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Sorry Will ... I didn't meant to come across as arrogant. Just expressing what I feel are my particular needs.

What others require in a camera is fine by me but it may not suit what I want ... and small sensors don't, purely for my selfish described reasons.
I understand, that's why I said that my comment was not intended for you personally.

But I'm glad that you are at least considering the OM-D (from reading your comments on the relevant thread).

M9 would be cool.
But to sink in that much money just for a camera, is not justifiable for me. Especially when other cameras would allow me to take pictures just as well.
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Old 02-26-2012   #87
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Originally Posted by jarski View Post
Keith seem to be "spoiled" by D700, so no crop-sensor will do
Nothing wrong with that.
If I am planning to only have two digital bodies *only*, I would opt for D700 and M9 also

But as a film user, I have no lack of full-frame cameras. So I can indulge in smaller sensors which has their own benefits.
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Old 02-26-2012   #88
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I understand, that's why I said that my comment was not intended for you personally.

But I'm glad that you are at least considering the OM-D (from reading your comments on the relevant thread).

M9 would be cool.
But to sink in that much money just for a camera, is not justifiable for me. Especially when other cameras would allow me to take pictures just as well.


Thanks Will.

And this is where it all starts to become really difficult ... in between an M9 and D700 there is actually a place for a camera like the OM-D in my opinion.

Seriously ... where does one stop?
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Old 02-26-2012   #89
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Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Seriously ... where does one stop?

Not a personal comment Keith, as you've some fine work in the gallery, but I reckon that most people stop when one (or more) of three things happens:
  • They run out of money seriously enough for it to be an impediement
  • They realise that they haven't taken any good photos for ages and give up photography in order to take up something else
  • They realise that they haven't taken any good photos since they got so concerned about the next camera and decide to use what they've got for a while
If your short of time then digital won't fix it, but it may make it easier. I really like my M9, even though I still use film ergularly as well. All my RFF postcards were M9 - that says a lot.

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Old 02-28-2012   #90
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When does it stop? When you run out of money. ;-)

Another vote for the M9. I really enjoy it. It is the largest sensor in the smallest package available. Like its film-based brethren, it is not the tool for all jobs, but it is superb at what it does. Its IQ at low ISOs is what I used to call "medium format quality" and it represents a qualitative leap in quality from what I could achieve in the days of 35mm film. this is true, even with respect to high ISO images, although I understand that other cameras are superior there (e.g. the D3/D700).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Thanks Will.

And this is where it all starts to become really difficult ... in between an M9 and D700 there is actually a place for a camera like the OM-D in my opinion.

Seriously ... where does one stop?
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Old 02-28-2012   #91
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Another vote for the M9. I really enjoy it. It is the largest sensor in the smallest package available...

Ben's whole quote is pertinent, but this is the real point. I picked up my M9 last night and realised how used I've got to having that full frame sensor, with it's very lush colour rendering, in such a perfectly sized package. I can use it interchangeably with my other film M cameras and it fits in. No the low light performance isn't up there with the 1Ds3, 5D or Nikons, but it's so much smaller and 99.9% of the time it's enough for what I need.

It doesn't really matter that Roger (Hicks) thinks it has reached 35mm quality and Ben thinks it MF quality (I think it's somewhere in between in practical use) because it's certainly good enough to use for all the 35mm shooting you ever would have done and a lot of the MF shooting you might too. It's digital, so is quicker and simplert than film and if you shoot much colour film it will pay for itself more quickly than is really comfortable (I just sent half a dozen rolls of C41 off for processing/proofing). I only keep the film M's and Mamiya because I can and because they offer me a luxury that I actually could live without if I had too. This all in spite of the fact that a Zeiss Ikon is, IMHO, even better to actually shoot with than the M9.

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Old 02-28-2012   #92
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Hi Keith,

Sometimes a scratch has to be itched. If you think the M9 will do what you need it to do for you, then pull the trigger.

That being said, understand yours is a question of passion, not photographic necessity. I love gear, and every week seem to think that I "need" such-and-such piece of gear, or lens, or body, or ISO, or weather-resistance, etc.

I've settled on an X100 and an EOS 5DmkII. I've had many of the cameras you have or had...film M body, Nikon F6, D700, as well as D2X, D300, Canon G7 and G10. I've come to the realization that I can do what I need...and indeed, what I want...with my current setup. If I need full-frame, focal length variety, high megapixels, it's the markII. If I want to be really light, and 35mm FoV will do, it's the X100.

Just four days ago I returned from a trip to Buenos Aires. I had the X100 with me, and that was it. As I was strolling Barrio La Boca and the docks, shooting like a 1960's documentary photographer (in my mind anyway), I was wishing I could go a bit wider, and sometimes a bit tighter. It got me thinking about how nice it would be to be shooting an M9. Then reality struck...to get an M9 and three-lens setup would be extremely expensive as a hobby shooter setup. Then I had to ask myself...was there anything an M9 and three lenses could do, that my 5DmarkII and three lenses couldn't do? Full frame...check. High-quality primes...check (28/1.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8). After the logic proved I was being gear-headed, I though "Ha...a 5D is HUGE compared to an M body!" Guess what? Body only, M9 is 20.9 ounces, 5DmkII is 28.6 ounces. I used to race bicycles, and the holy grail was shaving off pounds and ounces. I met a guy who spent about $2k to reduce his bike weight by about two pounds, and you couldn't convince him it was bad money spent. Of course, he was about 40 pounds overweight, and you see where I'm going...

So, if the M9 gets you into your "zone," do it by all means...you only live once. But don't think the M9 is the ONLY camera that'll bring home the goods. Your D700 will do everything an M9 will do, with a ten- or eleven-ounce penalty (use a lighter camera bag...you can easily shave a pound by pulling stuff out you don't use, including padding).

I'd personally love to shoot an M9. I can honestly say, though, that I'd worry about it every minute. I wouldn't say I've heard it's "delicate," but I don't think it's nearly as rough-and-tumble as a film M, or your Nikon, or a 5DmkII. I'd worry about scratches, theft, rain, drizzle, humidity, high heat (I worry about my X100 overheating sometimes here in Texas...not the markII though).

I hope my rambling makes some sense. I think I can get there, gear-wise, with less and still enjoy the journey.
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Old 02-28-2012   #93
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David, best post I've read in a long time. Thanks for taking the time to share your view.
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Old 02-28-2012   #94
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I remember many years ago climbing in Nepal with my M4, compact 35mm and 90mm lenses, and thinking that for the few times I was using the the 90mm wishing I didn't have it along (a wider angle lens would have been nicer). Some way that extra 200gms and the thought of changing lenses made a difference in the thin air.

The point being sometimes even a little bit is seems too much. The M9 may not be a light weight, but its form factor is still small for a full frame digital, and if you want to use an M-series digital its still the only game in town.

Yes, its relatively expensive, but using the M9 is a unique experience. For me it was/is worth the initial investment. Something every photographer thinking of an M9 has to ask themselves; with this a camera can I get what I want out of it? is having an M-series full frame camera going to make a difference? is it going to make photography enjoyable?

If you have doubts they probably will carry over if you decide to purchase one. If you're positive about the experience you will have with an M9 you probably will enjoy it from the get go and get the most out of it.
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Old 02-28-2012   #95
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What an insightful post!

" I met a guy who spent about $2k to reduce his bike weight by about two pounds, and you couldn't convince him it was bad money spent. Of course, he was about 40 pounds overweight.."

Realizing passions may soothe the soul but not necessarily comfort the wisdom.. The matter is being able to not bring them clash with each other..
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Old 02-28-2012   #96
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My point wasn't to malign the M9, of course...or Keith.

I think my point was that (especially lately) every time I think I need something else to be "totally satisfied" with my kit, I take a breath and figure out how I can do it with what I have, or more importantly, what I have with me at the time.

The M9 seems really cool. As much as I like the idea of an M9, I don't see one in my future. I can make the same type pictures using something I already own.
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Old 02-28-2012   #97
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My point wasn't to malign the M9, of course...or Keith.

I think my point was that (especially lately) every time I think I need something else to be "totally satisfied" with my kit, I take a breath and figure out how I can do it with what I have, or more importantly, what I have with me at the time.

The M9 seems really cool. As much as I like the idea of an M9, I don't see one in my future. I can make the same type pictures using something I already own.

David, your post was helpful and in no way read as maligning the M9.

Mike
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Old 02-29-2012   #98
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Originally Posted by David_Manning View Post
My point wasn't to malign the M9, of course...or Keith.

I think my point was that (especially lately) every time I think I need something else to be "totally satisfied" with my kit, I take a breath and figure out how I can do it with what I have, or more importantly, what I have with me at the time.

The M9 seems really cool. As much as I like the idea of an M9, I don't see one in my future. I can make the same type pictures using something I already own.

Thanks David for your insightful posts ... you really do hit the nail on the head.

I am breathing carefully, though I came very close to pulling the pin on an M9 last night on Oz eBay. A six month old mint example with a few thousand actuations went for just over five grand after I had put in a bid of $4950.00! I wasn't miffed at missing what seemed like a pretty good bargain by fifty dollars in the end .... softly softly as they say!
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Old 02-29-2012   #99
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..... I wasn't miffed at missing what seemed like a pretty good bargain by fifty dollars in the end ....
It's our subconscious mind that makes our purchasing decisions. Your subconscious is telling you something.
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Old 02-29-2012   #100
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Keith, I think this, like most quests for the perfect camera, is doomed to fail. No matter what piece of optical-mechanical-electronic machinery you choose, there will be ways in which it falls short for you personally. Since you are a very good photographer you will find ways to overcome those shortcomings.

You're getting a lot of good opinions, which also reflect our own biases. For instance, the X100 didn't do the job for you in manual focus mode. Since I've had mine I've never attempted manual focus and don't anticipate the need. My old eyes are grateful for AF and I've long since accepted AE. The X100 is fun for me and even gets commercial acceptance in my world.

That said, if I had $5500 and some legacy Leica glass (wish I'd kept all that stuff) I would be tempted to get the M9 and not look back.

Good luck!
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