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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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M8 still worth it in 2018?
Old 10-04-2018   #1
glmm2001
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M8 still worth it in 2018?

After years of using bulky DSLR cameras (my current camera is a EOS 7D MkII with all bells and whistles and before that several mid range Canon DSLRs) and giving a try to a film Leica, I was thinking of moving into a digital M Leica. After a few weeks checking the online market, I have found several M8s in the 1300/1400€ bracket, including units sold by official European Leica dealers, with the M9 starting from 1900€ but usually in the 2000 plus bracket.

Of course, the camera is old and the newer units will be some 10 years old. M9s could be problematic due to sensor issues and those with certified replaced sensors are even more expensive. As an amateur, I don’t feel confortable shelling lots of money having already a nice, if bulky, camera as I would use the Leica only for the pleasure of it and a little street photography.

So, question is, is a M8/M8.2/M8u still worth a thousand euros in late 2018?

Thanks for your insights!
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Old 10-04-2018   #2
rcubed
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I think it's still worth it. The M8 seems to have levelled off in terms of depreciation. I'm tempted to pick one up as a "ghetto monochrome" as they keep popping up around 1000USD locally
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Old 10-04-2018   #3
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I have sent my Ghetto Monochrome to Leica Camera NJ for a $500 repair.
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Old 10-04-2018   #4
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Question asked and answered here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BQVhXujMa0 and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7TvsQrwCAE

Still my all time favourite camera, the results have something special I always miss nowadays.

Juergen
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Old 10-04-2018   #5
glmm2001
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Quote:
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Curiously enough, I had already watched both videos. Old camera means less reliability and problems with spares plus repair prices wich would surely over the value of the camera
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Old 10-04-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glmm2001 View Post
So, question is, is a M8/M8.2/M8u still worth a thousand euros in late 2018?
The M8 is a twelve year old, 10MP, crop-sensor, rangefinder camera. Only you can decide if it is worth €1000 to you, or whether there are better alternatives. Have you used one? That would be a good place to start. And don't forget, you are going to need a lens (and the required UV/IR cut filters). Lenses are often more expensive than the body.
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Old 10-04-2018   #7
RIVI1969
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Mine still is in pristine condition with approx. 5,000 shutter clicks, I paid $1750 for it 5 years ago, and cropped or not, the files and the user experience with all its faults, are amazing.

However... there is always this feeling that if it fails, is gone. I saw a video of a guy with a faulty M8, he said there was a big orange cast in the middle of all his files, he sent it to Leica and the repair estimate was 2,000 Pounds, obviously, he said no and now he has a dead body in his house.

I would jump in only if the camera comes from a reputable dealer. You never know.
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Old 10-04-2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glmm2001 View Post
M8 still worth it in 2018?
10+ year old 10mp cropped sensor that needs IR-Cut filters? You're even restricted as to the size and type of SD cards you can use. No thanks!

I watched both videos presented herein above (watched the positive one first) and I'm still not convinced otherwise. If you want to shoot with a rangefinder and can't minimally afford an M9 (w/ replaced sensor), I'd stick with a Leica film camera.
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Old 10-04-2018   #9
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Worst case scenario it completely fails on you and you'll sell it for parts. There are third party IR cut filters. B&W made filters especially for the M8. I picked up mine for $10. Or skip those and shoot black & white. Great camera.
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Old 10-04-2018   #10
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What sort of camera are you hoping to buy, should you acquire a properly functioning M8?.

Technology has moved on quite a bit since the M8 was a serious contender. IMHO a Fuji xpro1 or (better yet) xpro2 outclasses a Leica M8 in all ways and at a lower price (even new).
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Old 10-04-2018   #11
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A fuji XE3 new runs $900 us, the amazing XF18/2 will be less than half the cost of a Leica lens. Modern technology, fantastic low light performance, even lighter. Is the red dot that important?
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Old 10-04-2018   #12
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The only thing I didn't like about my M8.2 was that I couldn't manually enter the lens data. And I didn't have coded lenses. With my M9, I can just enter the lens data, no need to send them anywhere for coding. If the firmware could be updated to allow manual coding, I'd want my M8.2 back again! But I've never heard that Leica intended to do that upgrade. I can live with the crop factor, and I still have all the filters.
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Old 10-04-2018   #13
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^but its the rangefinder experience.
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Old 10-04-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glmm2001 View Post
After years of using bulky DSLR cameras (my current camera is a EOS 7D MkII with all bells and whistles and before that several mid range Canon DSLRs) and giving a try to a film Leica, I was thinking of moving into a digital M Leica. After a few weeks checking the online market, I have found several M8s in the 1300/1400€ bracket, including units sold by official European Leica dealers, with the M9 starting from 1900€ but usually in the 2000 plus bracket.

Of course, the camera is old and the newer units will be some 10 years old. M9s could be problematic due to sensor issues and those with certified replaced sensors are even more expensive. As an amateur, I don’t feel confortable shelling lots of money having already a nice, if bulky, camera as I would use the Leica only for the pleasure of it and a little street photography.

So, question is, is a M8/M8.2/M8u still worth a thousand euros in late 2018?

Thanks for your insights!
For me it would be a non-starter. For that money I'd be looking at a new camera.
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Old 10-04-2018   #15
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For me it would be a non-starter. For that money I'd be looking at a new camera.
He already has a new camera - the Canon EOS 7D MkII.
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Old 10-04-2018   #16
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He already has a new camera - the Canon EOS 7D MkII.
Yes, I read that right there in his first sentence. :-)

If the OP wants a new camera that is less bulky and as he says "for the pleasure of it and a little street photography" I would personally steer clear of an M8 and spend the money on something like a new Fuji rangefinder, which for about $1K offers the less bulky part, and maybe the pleasure part too. But that's just me.
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Old 10-04-2018   #17
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How good are your eyes? With me this is the main constraining factor with the M8. I have one but do not use it as much as I would like as the viewfinder is not up to providing really good quick focusing in my case at least (even with a magnifier / diopter). Obviously if you like wide lenses (with their deeper depth of field) the finder issue is less of an issue.

But as some others point out the camera can produce very nice images if you hit focus. Though here too, image quality, there are limits - the older CCD sensor is less sensitive than CMOS sensors so paradoxically the M8 is less capable in the field that film Leica Ms were originally renowned for - available light photography.

If I hit the lottery I could be tempted to buy an M10 as I love the concept of digital M cameras (which has a much better finder and a more capable sensor) but failing that I for one would have to reject an M8 if I had to consider buying one now. Regretfully! For now my M8 is like the family cat. I nurse it and stroke it as I sit by the fireside.
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Old 10-04-2018   #18
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I have the opposite experience. With an SLR/DSLR, it can be a bit difficult to nail the exact point of focus (more so with some cameras and lenses than others). But with a rangefinder Leica, whether film or digital, the image is either in coincidence, or it isn't. And I can tell when it is lined up, whether my vision is precisely corrected, or not.
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Old 10-04-2018   #19
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I had M8 in 2017. In addition to M-E. It was no significant difference.
The only drawback is as usual, the crop. But the benefit of M8 as low cost digital M is lowest in cost lenses. Industar-69 28 2.8 is $10 lens. And it works perfectly on M8. I liked how Jupiter-12 rendered on it as well. I used cheap 40.5 IR cut filter on J-12 and it worked. They are also selling same IT cut glass and glass for very low price. It is possible to get them on Industar-69.
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Old 10-04-2018   #20
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It's an aged system, but the files are something else. A great monochrome kit to boot.
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Old 10-04-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glmm2001 View Post
Old camera means less reliability and problems with spares plus repair prices wich would surely over the value of the camera
I never get this logic, people have no problem to buy a new car where they loose 5 times the money if the turn the first time the engine on and drive off the dealers show room, but getting afraid that that old a camera for 1k breaks directly. if it breaks at some point (big big if) simply buy another one. In the area around 1k I wouldn't mind. If you buy a new digital camera in the 2K area these days you loose the same amount of money after 2-3 years. Means, if the M8 works for 2-3 years, and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't, you pay 3$ for it per day in worst case. Compare this to other stuff spend on a daily basis.

And in regards to the IQ of the M8 and its 'outdated' sensor, I reactivated my still working 15 year old Fuji F10 (only small sensor with 5MP CCD, only JPG output), printed some files on my Epson P600 in A4 and showed them my heavily in photography involved friends, they couldn't believe it. Me neither.

At the end, if you really want a digital rangefinder (the Fuji X-E3 is nice but not a RF), thats the cheapest way to get it next to the Epson RD-1. Add a Leica lens which keeps its value no matter when you sell it, alternatively a used Voigtlaender, done. If my eyes were better these days I would buy one again in a heartbeat for the current prices.

If a Leica M8 (or whatever) is worth to buy is less a question of price or age , it's more a question of personal value, so at the end we can't answer this question, only you can. We only can give you some opinions to think about.

Jürgen
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Old 10-04-2018   #22
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It's never too late to discover the M8, still within my top 3 digitals every made.
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Old 10-04-2018   #23
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It's never too late to discover the M8, still within my top 3 digitals every made.
That is quite a statement! What are the other two?
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Old 10-05-2018   #24
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If you want the cheapest digital Leica M camera because you only feel like using a digital Leica M camera, then yes, it could be still worth it. It`s ISO performance is closer to film standards than modern digital, but used within low ISOs, you can still make great photos and still print up to 13x19" that a pixel peeper can be ok with. I`ve moved on, but I certainly used a M8 way past its supposed due date in the past.
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Old 10-05-2018   #25
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Quote:
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It's never too late to discover the M8, still within my top 3 digitals every made.
I have the M8 and the M9, and I used to have thoughts on getting a B&W M.
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Old 10-05-2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawarden View Post
Yes, I read that right there in his first sentence. :-)

If the OP wants a new camera that is less bulky and as he says "for the pleasure of it and a little street photography" I would personally steer clear of an M8 and spend the money on something like a new Fuji rangefinder, which for about $1K offers the less bulky part, and maybe the pleasure part too. But that's just me.
There is no such thing as a new Fuji rangefinder.
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Old 10-05-2018   #27
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Sorry, my comment was posted twice.
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Old 10-05-2018   #28
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There is no such thing as a Fuji rangefinder.
I think everyone knows that.
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Old 10-05-2018   #29
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There is no such thing as a new Fuji rangefinder.
Tough crowd. Good luck to the OP in finding a smaller, fun street camera, no matter what it is. There is a lot out there to choose from in the used M8 price range.
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