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View Poll Results: What is the Overall Best Value in Digital Rangefinder Cameras?
Epson RD1 family - all models 60 17.91%
Leica M8 / 8u 69 20.60%
Leica 8.2 23 6.87%
Leica M9 71 21.19%
Leica M9-P 11 3.28%
Leica MM 18 5.37%
Leica ME 20 5.97%
Leica M240 aka M aka M10 45 13.43%
Leica M-P 12 3.58%
Leica M60 6 1.79%
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What is the Overall Best Value in Digital Rangefinders?
Old 01-11-2015   #1
CameraQuest
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What is the Overall Best Value in Digital Rangefinders?

Considering all variables

including price, image quality, reliability, availability of future repairs, future resale value etc,

what is your choice for the best value in digital rangefinder cameras?
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Old 01-11-2015   #2
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A wonderful question. I voted M8 simply because that's the one I have, and have had since it came out. It has the usual quirks, but I've learned to deal with them. Right now it's the best value for me because I don't have to spend anything to get it. Were I to be starting afresh, this might not be my answer.
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Old 01-11-2015   #3
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I voted for the Epson RD-1 family because the question was "The best Value" Put a good lens on one and stay within it's limits and the IQ is as good as anything out there for all practical purposes and the price is a tiny fraction of any of the Leicas.
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Old 01-11-2015   #4
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I think the M8 is best value: it has it's limitations, particularly around ISO, but delivers wonderful files and image quality, especially in monochrome. It's so good that I've not found its successors to offer substantive improvements for me so I've stuck with it.

On a simple price/image capability measure it has to provide the best ratio, in my opinion at least.
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Old 01-11-2015   #5
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I have an M9 that I love, but gotta admit, the Pana GF1 is used the most.
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Old 01-11-2015   #6
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I love my M9, but considering all factors, I have to say the M8 is the best value. My R-D1 was a wonderful camera as well, but availability of parts and service would be a concern.
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Old 01-11-2015   #7
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A cropped sensor represents no value at all, in my opinion.
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Old 01-11-2015   #8
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This somewhat depends on one's lens needs, but overall I think it is still the M8. The R-D1 is quite close, but even a bigger victim to "depends on what you need".
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Old 01-11-2015   #9
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In my opinion the Leica M-E is probably the best value in a digital rangefinder. It is still available new, it is full frame, and even though it could be improved there is a worldwide parts and service program in place.

I would certainly have voted for the Epson if it were still out there and available worldwide.
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Old 01-11-2015   #10
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imo, rd1 and m8 are 'equally depends on what you need' cameras as the rd1 delivers better high iso and m8 files are larger. but if you add both price of purchase and price of repair rd1 pulls away by a fair margin.

@Pioneer: the rd1x is available new quite easily, and btw for under $1200. the rd1s and x are still being serviced by epson.
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Old 01-11-2015   #11
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Leica M (typ 240)

Why is it the best value?

- Its sensor produces better results with a wider range of Leica M-mount and threaded-mount lenses than any of the others. It is also eminently useful with the full range of Leica R lenses, which are outstanding quality.

- Both its hardware and firmware is under ongoing development for future products. (While Leica is working on the M9/M9-P/M-E/M Monochrom sensor issue, I don't think there are any new products intended for release based on that series technology. The M (typ 240) is what new products that aren't just a cosmetic treatment will be based on going forward.)

- Its reliability and repair history is better than all prior Leica digital M models as well as the Epson R-D1 models.

- Parts and service for the M (typ 240) will be available for a long time to come; there are limits on both for the Epson and M8 series cameras already.

- The M (typ 240) is more versatile, more sensitive, and more robust than any of the prior models. (Video capture, weather sealing, GPS interface, Live View, etc etc all enhance and expand upon the capabilities of the basic Leica M camera model.)

Sometimes, the best value costs more. :-)

BTW, why not put the correct and proper name for the Leica M (typ 240) in the list as well as all three nicknames? And you missed the Leica M Edition 60 (typ 240) in the list.

G

... When I upgrade from the M9 to the typ 240 series, I'll go with the M-P model because even if it is a bit more expensive than the M, the durability of the LCD cover glass, reinstatement of the frame line selector lever, and improvements in buffering space and speed will be worth the additional money for a long term purchase.
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Old 01-11-2015   #12
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A used M9 is now a bargain. Is it? I was going to vote for the M8, but the M9 offers a higher satisfaction level for me.
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Old 01-11-2015   #13
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M240 bought used or as a Leica demo. I agree with Godfrey's points and only wish the M-P's features would have been included in the original M240 (particularly the buffer).

Having recently transitioned from an M9 to the M240, the M240 improves on the M9 in many factors of usability. It feels and operates faster and is quieter. It has fewer quirks, and those it has, are not significant (at least for me).

But I'd vote the M9 as a close second, primarily because base ISO image quality is on par with the M240 (other than extreme dynamic range situations) and it's significantly less expensive on the used market, therefore an easier entry point into digital RF.

With both you're not dealing with crop factors and getting the 'full effect' from the lens.
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Old 01-11-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran View Post
A cropped sensor represents no value at all, in my opinion.
"no value" ???
i better go delete about 2 terabytes of files.
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Old 01-11-2015   #15
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No value is different than no use.
You have your opinion, I have mine...
I certainly will never bother with such a camera.
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Old 01-11-2015   #16
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If Value means dollars spent per output delivered. The M8 is at this point in time the easy choice. M8 Prices now being close to RD1 prices.

If value means Dollars spent for user satisfaction... It's totally subjective (I still choose M8).

I had a great run with the M8 and may take another one some day.
The M9 was not enough of an "upgrade" for me to jump with the lenses I was using.
I thought I would like the full frame but, after a 10 day test drive I just could not find the reason at the time to double down financially (2010 prices of M8vs M9).

The M8 around $1200-$1500. Pretty tough to beat it.
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Old 01-11-2015   #17
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Quote:
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A cropped sensor represents no value at all, in my opinion.
The size of the sensor is utterly irrelevant in this context.
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Old 01-11-2015   #18
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Maybe it doesn't to you.
But if one owns and wants to use a set of lenses as they were intended, it does indeed make a difference.
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Old 01-11-2015   #19
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The m9...

Being Full Frame i can use many great and inexpensive 50mm lenses like the J-8....if i use a cropped camera iŽll have to buy more expensive lenses that will try to match FF lenses performance but never will succeed.

So for me the m9 has the best value! it has the best perfomrance but also is the cheaper to use.

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Old 01-11-2015   #20
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The M8 remains a great camera. I make use of the 33% crop factor when I use side by side the M8 and M9 on trips. This doubles for me the choices of focal lengths with half the number of lenses.
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Old 01-11-2015   #21
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It terms of what a camera offers the user I'd go with the Epson purely because it gives an almost analog experience when shooting.
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Left one important choice off your list
Old 01-11-2015   #22
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Left one important choice off your list

Fuji X100T. Puts the decades-behind Leica's (with their problems, too) to shame, and in addition the Fuji is so carefully thought out, made mostly of metal including the knobs, user-friendly, yet still light enough for all-day carry use. It is a true "go-to" camera. And the flash is ALWAYS dead on with absolutely perfect exposures when you use it in the auto mode. A few folks will comment on the "nice old camera" -- humorous.
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Old 01-11-2015   #23
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Quote:
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Fuji X100T. Puts the decades-behind Leica's (with their problems, too) to shame, and in addition the Fuji is so carefully thought out, made mostly of metal including the knobs, user-friendly, yet still light enough for all-day carry use. It is a true "go-to" camera. And the flash is ALWAYS dead on with absolutely perfect exposures when you use it in the auto mode. A few folks will comment on the "nice old camera" -- humorous.
However, it's not a rangefinder camera.

G
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Old 01-11-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran View Post
Maybe it doesn't to you.
But if one owns and wants to use a set of lenses as they were intended, it does indeed make a difference.
Maybe it does to you, but (to my surprise) the crop factor hasn't bothered me in the slightest of all the M8's "features". I happily work with my full set of lenses and despite years of familiarity with focal lengths for 35mm film use, and concerns beforehand, in practice it's had little relevance (to me).
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Old 01-11-2015   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
The M8 remains a great camera. I make use of the 33% crop factor when I use side by side the M8 and M9 on trips. This doubles for me the choices of focal lengths with half the number of lenses.
I can appreciate where you're coming from with this, since there are times when it's very convenient to be shooting with two cameras. However, from a technical perspective, IIRC, the pixel density of the M8 is identical to the M9. Therefore cropping M9 images with a given lens to M8 pixel dimensions will result in the same end result.

IF the purpose was simply for the crop/reach a higher pixel density sensor could offer, then you might be better off with something like a Sony a6000 and adapter for M lenses. But of course, the user experience would be dramatically different.
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Old 01-11-2015   #26
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I know that the N8 and the M9 are similar. I did not aim at a crop. I got it with the M8.
RF focusing is what I like, so it has to be a RF camera.
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Old 01-11-2015   #27
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35mm focal length is my primary lens preference. On the cropped sensor M8 to get the same focal length along with f1.4 I'd need the 24 Lux. A huge lens compared to any of the 35 Luxes. I came up against this same cropped sensor problem when shooting the GXR-M which was a 1.5 ratio.

I have the M-E and exceeds my ability but I too would have to agree with Godfrey that the 240 offers the best overall value and even more, flexibility.
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Old 01-11-2015   #28
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Over all value?

How about "None of the above."
All of them are tad bit expensive for what they are.
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Old 01-11-2015   #29
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I guess it would need to be the R-D1, it's not always the cheapest item which provides the most value (in fact it almost never is, in technology), but as all digital range finders are able to take good pictures, and none of them seem to have any fatal flaws, all are devaluing in price, may as well get the cheapest.
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Old 01-11-2015   #30
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When I consider the best journalism, documentary or other work where unobtrusive is the call of the day, none of the above.

Don't get me wrong, I love my M3 and 50 1.4, I use it near daily, but the camera it shares the bag with just leaves it in the dust in terms of the kind of productivity that Leica and other RF cameras were made famous by, value is also part of that equation.

But what the heck do I know...right?
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Old 01-11-2015   #31
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M60

Its the only one that has some chance of holding any value. Everything else would be worthless soon.

Now, for actually using, I'd say a 240, but then, what do I know!

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Old 01-12-2015   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran View Post
Maybe it doesn't to you.
But if one owns and wants to use a set of lenses as they were intended, it does indeed make a difference.
They were intended to take pictures, weren't they?

I have enough lenses to compensate focal length differences...
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Old 01-12-2015   #33
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+1. FF lenses are at their best with crop cams generally. Only problem is fast wides given the price and size of Summilux 21 & 24.
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Old 01-12-2015   #34
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+1. FF lenses are at their best with crop cams generally. Only problem is fast wides given the price and size of Summilux 21 & 24.
It's true. The M8 is not as good for wide shooters.
I'm a 50mm users primarily. The CLE M Rokkor f2/40mm was a perfect 50mm equivalent for the M8 (53.2 with 1.33 factor).
Beautiful rendering on that CCD. I seriously would love to get back there some day especially at the going price for M8's.
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Old 01-12-2015   #35
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Epson seems obsolete and I have never ever seen one in my part of the world.
The rest is a choice between Leica or Leica.
I got my M9 with a faulty sensor: it got replaced (and though I liked the customer service a lot I wondered about Leica's end control). Two years later I send the M9 in for sensor cleaning and learned that my 2nd sensor had cracked and that Leica was going to replace it under warranty. In the meantime I know that Leica with its sensor problems in the M9, Monocrom etc has added a new dimension to the meaning of digital rot.
In summer I will travel between Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. That is during the hot, humid rainy season: my 3rd sensor M9 will be with me, protected as well as I protect all my cameras. But destined to be used.
None of my cameras ever made it into sissy heaven but I start asking my self whether there will be a 4th or 5th sensor waiting for my M9 and how Leica is going to deal with the problem in the next years.

There can be hardly any value without reliability. I do not want to bash Leica at all, and I do know that they can not continue to exchange their faulty sensors for ever, but I start liking my film Ms every day a bit more.

Hence I did not vote.
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Old 01-12-2015   #36
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Paid a little under $1600 for my M8 with 11,000 shots on it since then I've taken about another 3,000 and see getting many more years use out of it before the time comes to update to the M (M240). Since I don't have a lot of history shooting with a Leica M the crop factor/field of view of the lenses isn't something I really notice.
As far as wide angle lens go the wides one I have is a 28mm Elmarit and most of the time when I'm shooting with it composing consist of trying to find an interesting slice/picture with in the overall scene in front of me so a wider lens/field of view isn't normally a priority for me.
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Old 01-12-2015   #37
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Quote:
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They were intended to take pictures, weren't they?

I have enough lenses to compensate focal length differences...
We (or others) could go round and round about crop vs. FF forever. But like I said, I find no value in a crop-sensor camera. I want my 50 to be 50, my 21 to be 21. I want the ISO and DOF advantages of FF.

Besides which, the M9 is dated enough, if I wanted poor performance and a crop sensor I would have kept my entry-level Nikon
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Old 01-12-2015   #38
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To me, the live view feature makes the M(240) the best value. You have both a digital rangefinder AND a mirror less camera.
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Old 01-12-2015   #39
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The best overall value is the equipment that matches your vision. For me it's the MM and a 35mm FoV...It's what I shoot all of my personal work with.
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Old 01-12-2015   #40
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Quote:
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We (or others) could go round and round about crop vs. FF forever. But like I said, I find no value in a crop-sensor camera. I want my 50 to be 50, my 21 to be 21. I want the ISO and DOF advantages of FF.

Besides which, the M9 is dated enough, if I wanted poor performance and a crop sensor I would have kept my entry-level Nikon
Your 50 will be a 50 and your 21 will be a 21, regardless of the sensor size. No way can you change the focal length of a lens.
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