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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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My trusty M8 and the really bad economy!!!!
Old 08-03-2011   #1
eleskin
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My trusty M8 and the really bad economy!!!!

Well it is official. I plan on using my M8 for the foreseeable future. My M9 pipe dreams have been put on hold. The economy sucks and I have to use what I have. Business is ok for me, but not great. The way I see it, software will only get better, and so will the M8 files. Buying an M9 will not make economical sense.

I am thankful I did buy used Leica glass instead of the M9. That was a lifetime investment that seems to be appreciating in value in a huge way.

If I do bou an M9, maybe I will buy a well brassed one in a few years for a few thousand less, and then upgrade it to the M9P.

I wonder how many people will buy cosmetically ugly M9's and upgrade them to M9P?
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How many are holding off due to economics?
Old 08-03-2011   #2
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How many are holding off due to economics?

So who here is planning on using their M8's longer due to economics?
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Old 08-03-2011   #3
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I am planning on using my M8 as I like using it! It's a great camera in its own right.
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Old 08-03-2011   #4
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An old cliche, but it really is all about the pictures. I buy what I need, without regard to investment potential (that's crazy), and only get new gear if I'm convinced it will improve my photos, which for me means prints.

I can say this now, having spent 4 decades learning from experience, and a lot of mistakes. Seems to me that the economy is the best thing that happened to you, since it forced you to use the gear you have and get to know it better. But, you still look forward to the next thing...so you're not there yet.

I could have afforded an M9, and even a back-up M9, but chose instead to buy a second used M8.2. Nothing to do with the economy. The camera and lenses already delivered what I needed. (And, as a bonus, I got sapphire screen, top display and chrome thrown in without need to upgrade...plus the weaker camera filter compared to the M9 serves me well.) Additionally, I like using the 28 Summicron asph and 50 Summilux asph on the M8.2 better than I would like using the 35 Summicron asph and 75 Summicron asph on the M9. Finally, the 2m frame lines on the M8.2 are the best I've used on any M; the return to the 1m lines on the M9 was a step back IMO.

My prints improved much more by focusing on the printing end of things...printer, software, papers, profiles, and proper settings for everything.

Forget about the next best gear thing, and think about the next best pic.

Jeff

Last edited by Jeff S : 08-03-2011 at 05:51.
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Old 08-03-2011   #5
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Forget about the next best gear thing, and think about the next best pic.

Nothing wrong with being into both...
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Old 08-03-2011   #6
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I just recently though of selling my M8, but not to get an M9, but to get a film M. But then I looked at the pictures I took with the M8, and there was that magical spark again, that excited tingling in the stomach ... I just couldn't part with it. So it's going to stay, unless I should find out that I'm not using it anymore. And for the time being, my Contax T does a marvelous job at exposing slide film :-)
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Old 08-03-2011   #7
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Originally Posted by efix View Post
I just recently though of selling my M8, but not to get an M9, but to get a film M. But then I looked at the pictures I took with the M8, and there was that magical spark again, that excited tingling in the stomach ... I just couldn't part with it. So it's going to stay, unless I should find out that I'm not using it anymore. And for the time being, my Contax T does a marvelous job at exposing slide film :-)
Conversely, I just traded my M8 in for an M7 of the same value, because I wasn't getting the spark from the pictures. I've been shooting a lot of medium format and the aesthetic of digital images were just leaving me cold. After a lot of experimentation to make sure it was the sensor and not the, lens or the format or my post processing that was letting me down I made the switch.

It's early days yet, but at the back of my mind I feel have an asset that will depreciate far less than a digital M, so I'm in no rush.

And yes, if investment is your thing, lenses are a much better deal. I'm staggered at how the value of my 35mm Summilux ASPH has gone up in a year.
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Old 08-03-2011   #8
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Nothing wrong with being into both...
True, but even better when there are no illusions about reasons and expectations.

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M9 lust
Old 08-03-2011   #9
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M9 lust

Well, I can't say that I'm not lusting for an M9, even though I have and appreciate my M8.

The conversion back to FF in Nikon made all the difference for me - my D700 is worlds better than my D200 was, for me. I don't know if that's going to be true for my Leica experience.

I do get impatient with the M8's file write speed. I honestly don't even know if the M9 is better? It's kind of academic, since I won't be upgrading for some time.

I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to have and use an M8. I enjoy it.

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Old 08-03-2011   #10
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I have also been pondering the move from M8 to M9. I have been very happy with my M8. My only complaints relate not to the camera, but more to how my lenses match with the camera. (It has taken me some time to realize this.) First, I don't find a 67mm field of view (FOV) very useful--and my most expensive lens by far (Lux 50mm asph) provides that FOV per the 1.33 M8 crop. However, the Lux 50 asph would be great for me on a FF M9. Second, because I don't really like the Lux 50's FOV on the M8, that also means that I don't have a fast lens at a good FOV. I generally like my Elmarit 28--and love my Rollei Planar 80--but both are f2.8. Thus, I have been pondering the M9 ... though I'm not excited about its price, nor the complaints I hear about its problems with memory cards. Also, I have pondered keeping my M8 and replacing my Elmarit 28 with the faster (but also larger) Cron 28. But that'd cost a couple grand more. Hmmmm ...
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Old 08-03-2011   #11
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I do get impatient with the M8's file write speed. I honestly don't even know if the M9 is better? It's kind of academic, since I won't be upgrading for some time.
The M9 is even slower...
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Old 08-03-2011   #12
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Hmmm, I'm about to pay the balance on my new M9!
I love my M8 but I think I'll love the M9 just a little bit more.

Bob

Last edited by Doug : 08-06-2011 at 12:04. Reason: List first, talk later :) "I'm about to list my M8 in the classifieds"
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Old 08-03-2011   #13
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I keep lusting for an M9, but then I develop and scan some film that I shot with my M2 or 500cm and I see why I still keep shooting film.
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Old 08-03-2011   #14
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Red face

I just got my M8 last Saturday and I'm more than happy with it. I would love an M9, but at this point it just wouldn't make sense to me. I've only had about a year experience with rangefinders before now. Already I understand it, and have had very little issues focusing with the M8 (at least with my 40mm f/2 rokkor).

Even if I've had an M8 for several years like many, I probably wouldn't be wanting to part with it unless I had all the glass I (realistically) needed first, and for me that will take some time.

I think most people agree, new glass has priority over cameras, and actually taking photos has priority over all of it. Save up for a trip and go somewhere new. I plan on taking my M8 on a european trip in the autumn of 2012. Hopefully by then I'll have some more glass, I'm looking into everything from 28mm to 75mm.

The economy is bad, but as someone else had mentioned that could be a (small) blessing in disguise for many photographers.

Last edited by animefx : 08-03-2011 at 09:16.
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Old 08-03-2011   #15
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It's the crop factor that persuaded me to go for an M9. The M9 was much more cost-effective than buyng a 24 Summilux, and besides, I've been using Leicas for so long that I was uncomfortable not having exactly the same focal lengths. Also, if I'm shooting film (B+W) and digi side by side, full-frame is invaluable, to say nothing of the IR fix.

Yes, I do see more 'sparkle' in some M9 images with some lenses, especially the 75/2, but that's basically a bonus. Essentially it was FF, not image quality, that persuaded me. As I said to Frances the first time I used it, "I've got my 35mm Summilux back!"

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-03-2011   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efix View Post
I just recently though of selling my M8, but not to get an M9, but to get a film M. But then I looked at the pictures I took with the M8, and there was that magical spark again, that excited tingling in the stomach ... I just couldn't part with it.
I had pretty much put my M8 away for a Panasonic GF-1 (easy to carry/photos aren't bad) . . . but the other day - like you - I looked at some of the pictures that I had taken with my M8 and I'm using my M8 again.

As nice as it would be to own an M9 I just can't justify the price. Maybe I'll buy one when my M8 dies.
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Old 08-03-2011   #17
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It's the crop factor that persuaded me to go for an M9.
After several decades with film Ms, I anticipated not liking the M8.2 crop. But, as I said in an earlier post, I was surprised to get in even a better groove with the 28/50 than the 35/75 combo. Not only do I like the rendering of my specific lenses better now, but I never liked the 75 frame lines, much preferring the 50 lines. After a short while, the different FOV became second nature.

But if I still shot film, simultaneously with digital, I probably would have felt the same way as you. Filter changing would also be a drag. However, I would have missed out on the surprise findings with the cropped camera. Funny how one adapts. When I pick up a film M now, it feels too skinny. Go figure.

The filters never bothered me; put them on once and have never removed them. The file clarity is slightly better before PP than on the M9 (so I've read) due to the stronger M9 filter. And the UV/IR filter still sometimes does a better job on blacks than the M9 built-in filter.

I'm just glad there are good choices for everyone.

Jeff
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Old 08-03-2011   #18
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Although I've upgraded, the M8 is still a fantastic camera compared to the M9 which is only 1 stop better from ISO 400+. The M8 files are crisp and sharp and represents great value in today's economy, which despite being bad, Leica prices continue to rise as people stretch themselves to acquire it.

The crop factor is only a problem for photographers used to shooting primes and achieving a certain perspective. For new photographers, most worry about something they have no experience with.

Ultimately, its mind over matter, and i couldn't tell any difference with the crop factors other than i needed to use different lenses than normal to compensate. Full frame is desirable but does not affect the picture in any way, other than in the mindset of a negative photographer.
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Last edited by Doug : 08-06-2011 at 12:20. Reason: "problem for older photographers"
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Old 08-03-2011   #19
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It's the crop factor that persuaded me to go for an M9. The M9 was much more cost-effective than buyng a 24 Summilux ...

R.
Roger,

Great, helpful post. This really sums up my desire to move from M8 to M9. I can have a real 35 and real 50--and I won't have the desire to buy an expensive Cron 28.

Your comment was really helpful, helping me crystalize my thoughts.

R
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Old 08-03-2011   #20
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I'd rather have a brace of fixed lens Leicas of various focal lengths (undoubtedly in the works), just as I did with LTM Canons/Leicas. Changing lenses is a problem in the wind (dustwise) and M9 price is temporary... too high not to have equal-quality competiton at 1/4 the price. Canon and Sony are surely watching.
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Old 08-03-2011   #21
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All camera manufacturers have to keep making new models to stay in business. This only works by relying upon people's aquisitive nature - the "other man's grass is always greener" factor. (I should know, I fall for it all the time.) To be realistic, most times we do not really need the improvements that come from the "next model up." But to be fair, its also how cameras have gotten better and better over time. The differences between a model X and a model X+1 may be small but over time the cumulative differences between the model X and model X+5 become greater. OK in the case of the M9 the improvements are more than trivial - largely they are hardware based not just software but one has to ask if the imcremental gains are worth it when the really rather huge cost incement is considered. Having said this I would certainly trade my M8 if I had the cash to do so without feeling remorse. (I have the money so could if I really, really wanted to but it would be an indulgence I could not justify to myself - and more importantly to the other half.)

So for now I will stick to my M8. But I might also be convinced to apply my long term strategy. I usually do not buy a new camera while it is still "hot off the presses" and at its peak of demand and hence price. I much prefer to bide my tiime and buy a good second hand job a bit down the track after the next model has been released and people are keen to dispose of their older model camera for a lower price.

Last edited by peterm1 : 08-03-2011 at 16:02.
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Old 08-03-2011   #22
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Quote:
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The differences between a model X and a model X+1 may be small but over time the cumulative differences between the model X and model X+5 become greater. OK in the case of the M9 the improvements are more than trivial - largely they are hardware based not just software but one has to ask if the imcremental gains are worth it when the really rather huge cost incement is considered.
Just to recap what I said separately in a couple of posts, comparing the M8.2 and M9 (not M9-P):

M9 "better" in terms of....full frame (and all that entails, including ability to shoot wider), lack of UV/IR filters, one stop higher ISO, improved color transitions (according to some), soft release

M8.2 "better" in terms of...sapphire screen, top display, chrome finish, 2m frame lines (IMO), somewhat increased clarity out-of-camera due to less in-camera filtration, faster processing due to smaller files, marginally quieter shutter (tested with 2 M8.2s and 2 M9s with Leica rep and 4 customers at my local shop), lack of "red edge" issues associated with wider angles on full frame, IR capabilities, price

So, it depends on which attributes one needs or prefers. Newer doesn't mean better in all respects. But one important improvement is all it takes to make the difference for many customers.

Jeff
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Old 08-03-2011   #23
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Well I can't afford either the M8 or the M9 even if the economy was rocking and rolling...this economy sucks so much I can't even afford a brick of film it seems!

I wish I had something digital I think...did I just say that???
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Old 08-03-2011   #24
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I suffered through this economy as well. Sales fell off by 50% in 2008 - 2010. They finally came back up to about 2/3 of 2007 levels. This left me with tons of debt that sucks money off my bottom line every month. But after years of biting my nails and eating beans, I sold my M8 and my M4 and traded in some of my better Nikon lenses to buy a M9. It still cost me $2,500 out of pocket but I'm glad I did.
Don't get me wrong, the M8 was a wonderful camera. But the M9 is better. The files look more natural. The color is better. How much? Maybe 5 - 10%. Best of all, my 35 Summicron IV and 90 Elmarit M really shine on the M9.
Another thing, if I shot too many frames too quickly, my M8 would lock up. I would have to pull the battery and restart the camera. That has not happened with my M9. On the other hand, like some others, I have had frames lost due to card issues. I do not doubt Leica will address the card issues. They were all over the IR issue on the M8.
Still, the M8 is a very impressive camera. Far better image wise (not spec wise) than any Nikon or Canon I've ever used.
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Old 08-03-2011   #25
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How many are holding off due to economics?
Yeah... Something like that.
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Old 08-04-2011   #26
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being without a fast 35 is really frustrating, but I know I want to keep the M8 long term. I have grown attached to the 67 fov from my 50, so no trade in for me.

That means $6k+ for the M9/cv 35/1.4 or $1200 for an X100?

Economy or not, I only have one real option there!
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Old 08-06-2011   #27
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I'm fond of the M8 too. The M9 "fix" for IR is incomplete IMO, with the M8 + IR cut filter more effective in blocking IR, noticeable in IR-heavy circumstances. Of course one could use a cut filter with the M9, but there's no in-built edge correction for that as in the M8.

I don't mind the 1.33x "crop factor" and find the 50mm surprisingly useful along with the 28 'cron and 21 ASPH. I think one has to free the mind from previous notions about focal length and instead consider angle of view. My advantage in that thinking has been long experience with the Pen-F half frame and medium format rigs, where "50mm" means something quite different.

At first with the M8 I resisted the idea that IR cut filters and lens coding were necessary. Once I saw that need with my own eyes, gave in to it and got that resolved, the M8's quirks were squashed and I now consider it a settled and reliable kit.

The M9 is another step up in file quality from the M8 due to the greater resolution reaching into medium-format film territory. But it's not as mature a product I think, still needing to fully resolve the wide-angle red fringing issue (which I notice even with 50mm), and unreliability with larger newer SanDisk SDHC cards that Leica is looking into. I've not seen those card problems with mine.
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Old 08-06-2011   #28
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...I don't mind the 1.33x "crop factor" and find the 50mm surprisingly useful along with the 28 'cron and 21 ASPH. I think one has to free the mind from previous notions about focal length and instead consider angle of view...
Matter of tastes IMO. I feel 50s either too short or too long on the M8. I much prefer FF or APS-C from this standpoint.
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Old 08-06-2011   #29
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Matter of tastes IMO.
Indeed!

Quote:
I feel 50s either too short or too long on the M8. I much prefer FF or APS-C from this standpoint.
Others have shared that opinion as well. Using the 50mm on M8 seemed a little peculiar at first but I adopted it with surprise. As I recall, that was on a vacation trip in Nov 2009, when I had expected to more frequently use a 25 Biogon but ended up mostly using the 2/50 Heliar.

For examples, click on my RFF Gallery link below... I've finally uploaded those 2009 Hawaii shots, and all but the first two are with the 50mm on M8.
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Old 08-06-2011   #30
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I miss my M8 (which was sold to fund an M9). With the M8 the zm 18/4 and 50/1.5 made me very happy. I feel I can print more subjects well at larger print sizes with the M9, but practically I'm pleased with M8 files at 11x14 and sometimes even 16x20. The crop factor debate didn't influence me as I had lenses that I felt could really sing on the M8.

The smaller, crisper files of the M8 are a pleasure to process on my older hardware too. And the iso improvement doesn't matter so much imho given the noise reduction capability in LR3 and ACR, at least not in my experience in prints.
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Old 08-10-2011   #31
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Economy or no... I will use my M8 (hopefully) until the M9's come down to current M8 prices. M8 is a great camera! I love it every day, and I am really fortunate to be able to rationalize even an M8's kits high price (Seriously for a camera body let alone lenses it is an expensive option but one of only few if you want DRF). For people waiting to afford M9's... don't forget there is a lot to love with a nicely selected used M8.
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