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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!

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the M8. iz it worth it?
Old 11-16-2012   #1
meandihagee
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the M8. iz it worth it?

Hello,

On the lookout for a rangefinderesque digital. However, as I look on Flickr I don't like digital images at all. They have this plasticky, glowy feel, that looks really bad compared to film, especially on the human white skin. But maybe it's just the screen. On a nice paper, the digital might catch-up.

Anyway, to my eyes the M8 is the only one who gives a film-like, beautiful texture (is it the camera..., is it the lens...?).

I like the idea of the X100 and X-Pro 1, but both of them produce those ugly digital files I was saying about.

So, my question is this: is it worth buying an M8 in 2012? I don't have a problem with loud shutter, filters, but I would like to go above 640 ISO on a camera that costs the same as the X-Pro 1...

Also, can I get big expo prints with the M8?
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Old 11-16-2012   #2
Damaso
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You won't get the same high ISO abilities as you would on some more recent cameras. That said I still use a M8 and am happy overall with it. You may be able to get some extend range using Lightroom plugins to deal with noise. And of course if you have a nice fast lens it becomes less of an issue...

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Old 11-16-2012   #3
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the M8 is a fantastic camera....and IF you are shooting black & white....you really cannot do any better, unless you are getting a Monochrom.
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Old 11-16-2012   #4
PatrickCheung
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I have an M8, and I really like the files it produces. Not plastic, not quite like film... A happy medium. And yes, black and white converted files from the M8 are beautiful.... I end up converting most of my RAWs to black and white.

Plus, with their prices decreasing... The M8 becomes more and more of a viable choice for a digital rangefinder.
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Old 11-16-2012   #5
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I've had it for nearly three years, and it's been a rewarding experience shooting and getting very decent results from the camera.

I rarely use mine beyond ISO 640 as the sensor simply doesn't produce the results I need. Budget some fast glass, as you will need more light-gathering power.
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Old 11-16-2012   #6
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With lightroom 4 you can use 1250 iso b/w if properly exposed, no problem. Under exposing means banding in the shadows.

640 is the sweetspot if you like some grain, and at 160 the files can blow you away.



That's at 640, processed in lightroom, color corrected from raw, etc.



That's a 100% crop, compressed for the web, etc etc.
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Old 11-16-2012   #7
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Nothing wrong with the M8, which I have had for five years. You know the main shortcomings (e.g., shutter sound, performance at higher ISO, cropped image). As has been noted, it does very well in B&W and well in color.

Per your mention of film, film is film--and digital does not equate with it today. Nothing is the same, not even the MM (though I'd love to have an MM). The process, the rendering, the DR, the grain, use of ISO, instant option for color vs. B&W: "everything" with film differs from digital.
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Old 11-16-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meandihagee View Post
...I don't have a problem with loud shutter, filters, but I would like to go above 640 ISO...
Then the M8 is not for you, unless you like its "grain" at 1250 / 2500 iso.
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Old 11-16-2012   #9
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Pass on the M8
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Old 11-16-2012   #10
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I've had my M8 for about a year now and it has become my favorite camera. The ccd sensor output is almost film like I think. With some fast glass and staying under iso640, as others already suggested, it isn't too limiting really in daily use. I even take it to low light concerts without worry.
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Old 11-16-2012   #11
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Just curious, what size prints are you guys routinely making with the M8?
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Old 11-16-2012   #12
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Just had two 20 x 16 inch canvas prints done of head and shoulders shots, very happy for people to walk up and count the eyelashes which show no digital artefacts, it was carefully sharpened, but you can't put in what wasn't there to start with. I have had paper prints of the same size made previously from several frames with no issues at all. All these are full frame. I can see the point of more pixels if you are needing to crop at all extensively.
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Old 11-16-2012   #13
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M8.2 here. A great camera for good light, especially backlight which becomes quite translucent. Main lens is a 35mm Summilux, tack sharp wide open. If and when the LCD unit breaks, I'll be ready to upgrade to full frame. I like the looks of the ME and also the fact that it still uses the CCD sensor.
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Old 11-16-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IEDEI View Post
the M8 is a fantastic camera....and IF you are shooting black & white....you really cannot do any better, unless you are getting a Monochrom.
Plus 1.... I actually just bought an M8u and it has changed how I feel about digi! Also, THE ONLY way to tell how prints will look is to do prints. I have compared wet prints from my dark room to prints from my M8 and Epson 3000 and its pretty damned close!
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Old 11-16-2012   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLivsey View Post
JI have had paper prints of the same size made previously from several frames with no issues at all. All these are full frame.
I've made 12x18" prints and I start to see it look it is deteriorating upon up close inspection, so what do you mean by no issues at all? Meaning at a viewing distnace of a few feet? The native print size for a 10mp sensor is 8x12" or so... so, it's only natural that it starts to go downhill after that. I have a feeling my larger MP cameras are spoiling me and making the M8 large prints not stand up anymore. However, they are no worse than any c-prints of that size I've made with 35mm film.
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Old 11-17-2012   #16
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i have made quite a few 11x17 prints. the M8 files work fine at this size.
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Old 11-17-2012   #17
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The only reason why people buy the m8 (i hope) and the only reason I will buy one again is simply because of rangefinder focusing on m lenses...

If you don't feel attached or extremely used to rangefinder focusing like me , buy a xpro 1 it's better than the m8 in every way... (high iso performance , sensor pixel count , features list goes on)
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Old 11-17-2012   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denizg7 View Post
The only reason why people buy the m8 (i hope) and the only reason I will buy one again is simply because of rangefinder focusing on m lenses...

If you don't feel attached or extremely used to rangefinder focusing like me , buy a xpro 1 it's better than the m8 in every way... (high iso performance , sensor pixel count , features list goes on)
not really. for B&W photography it doesn't get much better than the M8....in any price range....current or past.

nobody buys a camera JUST because of pixel count, etc....you buy a whole package.
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Old 11-17-2012   #19
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I find that using the M8 side by side with an M9 makes the perfect set. The crop factor is not anymore a problem, and using the M9 for higher ISO is also possible. I use the M8 for B&W while I use the M9 for color. The M8 is for portraits, while the M9 is for wide angle. Both manage the normal perspective well.
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Old 11-17-2012   #20
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These days you would buy an M8 these days because you want more then what you can get on a RD1, but you don't remotely have the money for a M9. Save your money and get the M9, or the X1 pro.
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Old 11-17-2012   #21
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the fact is, the IR sensitivity of the M8 is unique.....it's pretty much the perfect B&W shooter, unless one has the $$$ for a Monochrome.
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Old 11-17-2012   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meandihagee View Post
So, my question is this: is it worth buying an M8 in 2012? I don't have a problem with loud shutter, filters, but I would like to go above 640 ISO on a camera that costs the same as the X-Pro 1...
I still consider M8 the best buy at its price point in 2012, but obviously I am speaking based on my own needs, preferences, and experiences. There are however so many other sets of needs and preferences that one can arrive at very different conclusion.

I regularly use the M8 at ISO 1250 with no noise reduction.
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Old 11-18-2012   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IEDEI View Post
the fact is, the IR sensitivity of the M8 is unique.....it's pretty much the perfect B&W shooter, unless one has the $$$ for a Monochrome.
Great B&W can be made from any digital camera. I think the light outside and your PP skills are more important than the lack of a AA filter.
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Old 11-18-2012   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramosa View Post
i have made quite a few 11x17 prints. the M8 files work fine at this size.
Yes, I can make them too... but compared to my other cameras, I see a difference.
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Old 11-18-2012   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IEDEI View Post
the fact is, the IR sensitivity of the M8 is unique.....it's pretty much the perfect B&W shooter, unless one has the $$$ for a Monochrome.
You keep saying that as if it were a given and not an opinion. What cameras have you directly compared it with?

I have owned the M8, R-D1, and M9 (and now the X-Pro) and to me even the Epson produced better looking B&W than the M8 (it also has the "unique" IR characteristic). And it was much more usable at high ISO, with a far better noise pattern.

And, while I am not a huge fan of the digital B&W look, the M9 was every bit as capable as the M8 after processing, and it was far more flexible given the better high ISO results. I have thousands of photos from both and honestly see no meaningful advantage to the M8.

I'm not saying it doesn't produce good images, but it can't be denied that the M8 is very long in the tooth, and a somewhat risky proposition due to the servicing situation. My recommendation, if one must have a mechanical RF digital, is to save for the M9, ME, or new M. If you are more flexible with regard to the RF mechanism, you do yourself a disservice ignoring the Fujis.
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