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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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Old 11-18-2012   #26
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
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.
+1 I'm sure this article doesn't mean much, but it's still interesting.


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Old 11-18-2012   #27
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I just used the 28mm Rokkor on the M8 for a perspective that is similar to a 28mm perspective with a 37mm crop. It is a great camera. I have started to shoot in DNG for better results. The crop can b limiting at times if you are using only the M8 and you do not have a very wide angle lens with you when you want to use a wide angle lens. On the other hand, using the M8 with a 50mm sharp lens for portraits is awesome. The lens shows then a crop for a 67mm lens. Most old lenses are very sharp in the center but less sharp at the edges. A crop will give you the sharp part. For example, using a vintage Rigid Summicron gives me a high resolution and overall sharp lens on the M8.

Switched to my M9, the Rokkor is a 28mm wide angle lens, and the Rigid Summicron is back a 50mm lens.
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Old 11-18-2012   #28
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Just curious, what size prints are you guys routinely making with the M8?
M8 files: I've made detailed urban architecture prints up to 11x14 that hold up viewed close. Low iso, on tripod, zeiss lenses, stopped down. I've made people prints up to 20x30 that hold up pretty well, these would be handheld, med iso, good glass. I've made some club prints at 12x18 at hi iso with LR3/4 noise reduction that hold up, allowing for a little grit.

M8 files seem to interpolate pretty well, up to a point.

All paper-based, none printed on canvas which can offset a lot of faults, of course. Larger prints are why I saved and moved to an M9 - more resolution helps.

Really curious to print from a MM.
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Old 11-18-2012   #29
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Originally Posted by gdi View Post

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.
i'm not saying the M8 is the ultimate camera or anything...but for its price point, it is the best bargain in the Leica used market. There are no serviceability issues aside from the LCD....and if there is an LCD issue, Leica is really taking care of those customers with great options.

The original poster asked about the M8. The bottom line is that it is STILL a hell of a camera....i am enjoying my M8.1 (updated) greatly.....and really enjoying photography again----and that is THE most important thing.

FWIW....the original poster bought an M8, as posted in the L-Forums post he made (same post as here). So he made the right decision!
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Old 11-18-2012   #30
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i'm not saying the M8 is the ultimate camera or anything...but for its price point, it is the best bargain in the Leica used market. There are no serviceability issues aside from the LCD....and if there is an LCD issue, Leica is really taking care of those customers with great options.

The original poster asked about the M8. The bottom line is that it is STILL a hell of a camera....i am enjoying my M8.1 (updated) greatly.....and really enjoying photography again----and that is THE most important thing.

FWIW....the original poster bought an M8, as posted in the L-Forums post he made (same post as here). So he made the right decision!
Well, I can't really argue any of those points.

It is a very nice camera - and the best value in a digital Leica. And And I could find myself wishing I had one with a bad LCD if they extend the good deals to the new M (and it ends up being a lot better than the M9/ME).
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Old 11-18-2012   #31
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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...

Can you post some unprocessed straight out of the camera pictures?
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Old 11-18-2012   #32
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post

Yes, I can make them too... but compared to my other cameras, I see a difference.
One that's good or bad?
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Old 11-18-2012   #33
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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.
+1




















.
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Old 11-19-2012   #34
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One that's good or bad?
They just don't hold up at larger sized compared to more modern cameras... up close that is. But I'll admit they don't bad compared to my 400 speed film 12x18" prints from the 90s... about the same.
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Old 11-19-2012   #35
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Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

If the prices were right for the M8, I would probably get one. But to be honest, I would love to try the XE-1, it's closer to my budget, really (maybe save some cash for a medium format).

I was thinking to get a VF on top for the 18mm and go hyperfocal for most of the time...
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Old 11-19-2012   #36
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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.
So true.

Having owned a M8 for 4 years and a M9 for 2 years, I think the M8 is a far better B&W camera. The M9's sensor was based on Kodachrome 64 slide film and the files often seem to have the same DR as Kodachrome. I'm always having to fuss with the shadows whenever I make a B&W conversion from a M9 file. On the other hand, the extended IR sensitivity of the M8 gave more shadow detail and the tones were smoother. There is really no other Leica - film or digital - that can compare to the look of a M8 B&W conversion. I'm sorry I sold mine.

Someone mentioned Zeiss lenses... if you are going to do a lot of work with IR, the Zeiss lenses are marked for IR. Of course you can work out a distance setting for any Leica lens, but it is nice to have it already in place.
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Old 11-19-2012   #37
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All lenses with a DOF scale have an IR marker - it is the DOF mark two stops down. like 5.6 on a 2.8 lens, or 4.0 on a 2.0 lens, etc. Unless the lens has apo correction, then it is just one stop down or even spot-on.
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Old 11-19-2012   #38
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Oh yeah, I made a lot of 24x36 prints from my M8 files and a few 40x60 inch prints. The sweet spot for print size from the M8 is 16x24 inches.
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Old 11-19-2012   #39
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All lenses with a DOF scale have an IR marker - it is the DOF mark two stops down. likeb 5.6 on a 2.8 lens, or 4.0 on a 2.0 lens, etc. Unless the lens has apo correction, then it is just one stop down or even spot-on.
You're right and that is often how I shot my M8 with either my 35 or 50 Summicrons. But it is nice to be able to see a blue line when, say, you are shooting a model and you have enough other things to worry about. I never could bring myself to marking any of my Summicrons.
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Old 11-19-2012   #40
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So true.

Having owned a M8 for 4 years and a M9 for 2 years, I think the M8 is a far better B&W camera. The M9's sensor was based on Kodachrome 64 slide film and the files often seem to have the same DR as Kodachrome. I'm always having to fuss with the shadows whenever I make a B&W conversion from a M9 file. On the other hand, the extended IR sensitivity of the M8 gave more shadow detail and the tones were smoother. There is really no other Leica - film or digital - that can compare to the look of a M8 B&W conversion. I'm sorry I sold mine.

Someone mentioned Zeiss lenses... if you are going to do a lot of work with IR, the Zeiss lenses are marked for IR. Of course you can work out a distance setting for any Leica lens, but it is nice to have it already in place.
The M9 sensor was based on Kodachrome 64? I have never heard that ( or of any sensor based in a particular film), where did your info come from?

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Glad I have mine
Old 11-19-2012   #41
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Glad I have mine

I have 2 M8's (One needs a shutter repair and I am happy to put the money into it) and I have no plans to sell them, especially after reading posts like this. I agree about the M8's ability to render superior tones for Black and White conversion. I base this on darkroom experience since 1987 with many hundreds of hours of getting my hands wet in trays. I print 17" x 27" Exhibition Fiber cut from a roll, flattened and printed on an Epson 3800. To my eye, the M8 looses nothing in tone and resolution, especially with framed exhibition prints. I had a mix of images scanned from film and M8 in a recent show and no person could tell or even questioned which came from my M8. By the way, I bought wood frames from Michael's art supply at 55% off. They measured 24" x 30" and worked really well with 17"x27" Exhibition Fiber. Mounting was simple. One piece of art tape in the middle top of each print. I have had no problems with flatness or waves forming in the prints.
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Old 11-19-2012   #42
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I shoot to print!!!!

By the way, the print is always my final goal. The M8 never lets me down. I tested the M9 3 times and I swear, they looked more mushy and lacked the bite of the M8. I cannot afford a Monochrome, so the M8 is a keeper for me! Heck, if I get that screen problem, I would buy another M8. In a year or two, $1,000 or so would be a great buy!
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Old 11-19-2012   #43
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Wow, now the M9 is mushy, along with worse tones, DR, and, I suppose worse noise. I think there is a heap of rationalizing going on in favor if the M8. I can see people imagining the M8 being slightly better on some B&W shots than others - but to claim it is far better than the M9 shows a lack of objectivity. Having thousands of shots from each to compare clearly shows me no disadvantage in the M9.

Though I did compare the M8 to the RedOne and found the M8's 1080p video clearly superior and more film like than the Red.
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Old 11-19-2012   #44
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is this the same m8 that people hated when it came out?
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Old 11-19-2012   #45
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is this the same m8 that people hated when it came out?
Same camera, different people.
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Old 11-19-2012   #46
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to be honest, I would love to try the XE-1, it's closer to my budget, really (maybe save some cash for a medium format).
Then get that. It's a different kind of camera, though.
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Old 11-20-2012   #47
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I will be going to London soon and hopefully get a look at some M8s (or them X-E1s...).

Any advice on what flaws to look for in an M8? Can you tell when the screen is on the way to his doom...?
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Old 11-20-2012   #48
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Wow, now the M9 is mushy, along with worse tones, DR, and, I suppose worse noise. I think there is a heap of rationalizing going on in favor if the M8. I can see people imagining the M8 being slightly better on some B&W shots than others - but to claim it is far better than the M9 shows a lack of subjectivity.
Yes, this is true.
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Old 11-20-2012   #49
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Originally Posted by E__WOK View Post
Can you post some unprocessed straight out of the camera pictures?

I'm sorry but as a rule I don't put RAW files online (I'm a professional so I worry about unauthorized high quality reproductions). Having just reviewed the RAW file I can tell you it's pretty close to the image I posted. I didn't do any noise reduction, just a bit of adjusting for contrast. If you are looking for unprocessed images there are tons of them online and probably quite a few links here on RFF...

I think the main reason to get an M8 is if you want an affordable digital M camera. I also use two film Ms in my work and I wanted a camera that felt the same as the others I use. The M8 certainly has its limitations, after all the design is five years old by now. But I think it still holds up well (except when it comes to high ISO but that doesn't seem to be a focus for Leica even with the new digital M). I would say buy it. If you hate it you can probably sell it for about what you paid for it.

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Old 11-20-2012   #50
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The M9 sensor was based on Kodachrome 64? I have never heard that ( or of any sensor based in a particular film), where did your info come from?

Thx
Here's the Quote from LUF: "I just belatedly read Thorsten Overgaard's update to page 16 of his M9 blog/subjective review/guide (which I find very useful). In it he states:

"It might be of interest to know that the Leica M9 and Leica M9-P, as well as the Kodak-Leica developed CCD-sensors for Leica M8 and Leica R9/DMR digital back, were developed with Kodachrome slide film as the ideal color look."

And the source: "This information was given by Stefan Daniel during the briefing for the LHSA at Leica Camera AG in September 2010."

(as per Thorsten Overgaard).
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I could rephrase my comment by saying that the M9 sensor has a tight dynamic range. M9 files are a bit better than files from scanned slide film. Still, I find it hard to get a full range B&W print from a M9 file. And it is easier to get a B&W conversion from a M8 file because the IR sensitivity.

Personally, I'm waiting to see how the new M renders B&W before buying my next camera. With all three (M, MM and M8) to compare, I'll know if the Monochrom is worth the money or if the M or the M8 is a better bet.

Hope this makes sense.
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