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Thread: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

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    Senior Member fordfanjpn's Avatar
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    Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    I had to try this for myself. Right now I'm asking myself if there is a $5000 difference in image quality. Judge for yourself. But keep in mind that these jpegs don't look as good as the original images.

    Bill
    Last edited by fordfanjpn; 20th May 2009 at 18:34.

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    Senior Member back alley's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    the m8 shot looks a touch crisper, more contrasty by a hair and slightly sharper (due to the increased contrast?)

    but all things considered, not being a pro or selling my images or being flush with cash, i'd be very happy with the plastic g1 and in fact, am.

    joe

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    Senior Member fordfanjpn's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Quote Originally Posted by back alley View Post
    the m8 shot looks a touch crisper, more contrasty by a hair and slightly sharper (due to the increased contrast?)

    but all things considered, not being a pro or selling my images or being flush with cash, i'd be very happy with the plastic g1 and in fact, am.

    joe
    Even though I have both of these cameras, I find the G1 so much easier to use that I rarely touch the M8 anymore. And I'm very pleased with the image quality of the G1.

    Bill

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    Senior Member back alley's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    i know that feeling too.

    i have not touched another camera since i got the g1 and i'm even thinking about selling the sony and lenses.
    joe

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Other than the difference in depth of field, I can't see any real difference, even in the 100% crops. By the way you did a great job matching color and WB.
    V/r John

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    I can't really see any differences (other than image size) that couldn't be attributed to post-processing.

    But of course that's what you might expect from pictures taken with the same lens on two different cameras with similarly high-quality image sensors.

    So the value proposition would come down to how much you're willing to "pay" for the M8's other features, such as its ability to shoot a slightly wider angle of view at the same focal length and its freedom from finder blackout -- plus whether you prefer viewing and focusing via an optical range/viewfinder or an EVF.

    I suspect that except for hardcore action shooters, the G1 approach is going to look more appealing to a lot of people who own some M-mount lenses and are looking for a way to shoot digital files with them.

    Personally I'm still twisting in the wind (although my RF lenses are Voigtlanders and Canons and live on an Epson R-D 1, rather than Leica glass on an M8.) I like the idea of being able to get really critical focusing with my 85mm f/1.5 and 100mm f/2 Canon lenses, which are a challenge to use on the R-D 1. But the G1's finder blackout/freeze during shots still bugs me a bit, as does the need to push two buttons and give up my full-frame view to get the magnified critical-focusing display.

    If somebody came out with an EVF with the magnified-center-loupe focusing we "prototyped" in another thread, and a single button to activate it, then that would be a really awesome camera for manual-focus lenses...

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    Senior Member fordfanjpn's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    Other than the difference in depth of field, I can't see any real difference, even in the 100% crops. By the way you did a great job matching color and WB.
    The WB was just one click on the WhiBal card. I didn't tweak the colors at all in either image. The only change I made was a slight tweak to match the exposure as close as I could.

    Bill

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Bill have to say that is really darn close , i can spot the leica without looking but i know exactly what to look for since I owned the M8 for a long time but if not a side by side. Either one looks very good. I do have a 50 cron with me for this trip. If you folks really know what to look for it is the color red. Leica by far is always better than anything else. Most camera's just can't achieve red very well and some really stink at it. The G1 here is so very close on the red it was hard to tell.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Thanks, Bill, for making the comparison. You are a brave man.
    I do prefer the color rendition in the M8 picture, with the more sparkling colors out of the box. The G1 colors seem more dull in comparison (copied them to my harddisk and moved back and forth between them). But I definitely wouldn't call it a $5000 difference in image quality. It's a lot of money.
    I wish Leica would make entry level cameras like the G1 for their M and R systems (with larger sensors, fitted for the size of the image circle), maybe partnering with Panasonic or others if necessary. Then I would gladly continue paying a high price for Leica's unsurpassed high end optics, because optics last for decades while digital cameras come and go.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Agree Steen , leica needs something like the G1 in there line that can take the M glass.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    I wish Leica would make entry level cameras like the G1 for their M and R systems (with larger sensors, fitted for the size of the image circle)
    Not going to happen for the M system anytime soon, because:

    Larger sensors are more expensive, taking such cameras out of the entry-level category. (Yes, technology improvements eventually may make large sensors less expensive... but the same improvements also will reduce the cost of smaller sensors, preserving the price differential.

    Any camera with a large sensor will encounter the same problems that compromise the M8, all of which stem from the fact that the "chief ray angle" (angle at which light strikes the sensor) is steep at the frame edges because the back focus distance is relatively short. This factor is what causes the vignetting and makes it impossible for Leica to fit an effective AA filter or IR cutoff filter, forcing all the compromises of front-of-lens filters and software vignetting/color shift correction and lens encoding etc. etc.

    A key to the G1's good performance with M lenses is simply that they were willing to keep the sensor small, so the chief ray angle never needs to get too extreme.

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Maybe it is my eyes but I see a very large difference in color saturation as well.

    However we are looking at these side by side. Taken on its own the G1 does an admirable job. When you think that the G1, with lens, costs about what you would pay for a magnifier and grip for an M8 it really drives home the value equation.

    That said I am not going to be selling my M8's any time soon

    Woody

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Maybe it is my eyes but I see a very large difference in color saturation as well.
    The saturation curves may be different (although again, some of that could be down to post-processing; also, in this kind of comparison, we can't rule differences in color rendering among different viewers' computer monitors) but I'd be hard pressed to say one is superior to the other in that regard. It's going to come down to subjective preferences.

    From that viewpoint, I guess it's interesting economically that a $700 camera can produce results that can be compared meaningfully to those from a $5000 camera -- although it's not exactly big news, since we already know that in many cases, pictures from, say a $550 Nikon D60 and from an $8,000 Nikon D3x won't look all that different except in pixel count.

    But I thought that the more rational Leica aficionados take the position that the advantage of a Leica isn't just the results, it's how you get the results. It's like asking which sounds better, a violin or a piano? There's no right answer: the difference is that each one is better suited for playing different types of music, although it's possible in many cases to play the same music on both with pleasing results.

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    The saturation curves may be different (although again, some of that could be down to post-processing; also, in this kind of comparison, we can't rule differences in color rendering among different viewers' computer monitors) but I'd be hard pressed to say one is superior to the other in that regard. It's going to come down to subjective preferences.

    From that viewpoint, I guess it's interesting economically that a $700 camera can produce results that can be compared meaningfully to those from a $5000 camera -- although it's not exactly big news, since we already know that in many cases, pictures from, say a $550 Nikon D60 and from an $8,000 Nikon D3x won't look all that different except in pixel count.

    But I thought that the more rational Leica aficionados take the position that the advantage of a Leica isn't just the results, it's how you get the results. It's like asking which sounds better, a violin or a piano? There's no right answer: the difference is that each one is better suited for playing different types of music, although it's possible in many cases to play the same music on both with pleasing results.
    Hear, hear. I totally agree. I recently bought an LX-3 and it's a fine camera for what it is. But after the initial novelty wore off I find myself wondering why I would ever want to pick it up over my M8 (or Nikon D3). I'm sure the G1 is a fine camera (esp for the price) but there's no way I could get over the 2X crop and EVF. (the 1.33x crop of the M8 is stretch enough). And I find the aesthetics of a Leica to be worth as much as they need to charge. If everybody just merely needed to get from place A to B, then we might as well have a world of Kia's. But I prefer the lines of a Porsche or BMW. I can't ever afford one, but I can in the equivalent of cameras, and it makes me shoot the way I might drive with a top of the line car.

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post

    Any camera with a large sensor will encounter the same problems that compromise the M8, all of which stem from the fact that the "chief ray angle" (angle at which light strikes the sensor) is steep at the frame edges because the back focus distance is relatively short. This factor is what causes the vignetting and makes it impossible for Leica to fit an effective AA filter or IR cutoff filter, forcing all the compromises of front-of-lens filters and software vignetting/color shift correction and lens encoding etc. etc.
    Sorry, Ranger. That old cocked up stories are no reasons at all as the current technology of micro-lenses will take care of the vignetting and the current technology of waveguides (aka photonic crystals) which can be incorporated in the micro lenses themselves will take care of UV and IR sensitivities.

    Yes, it will happen (larger sensored M4/3rds or similar) but it will not happen with Leica.

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Sorry, Ranger. That old cocked up stories are no reasons at all as the current technology of micro-lenses will take care of the vignetting and the current technology of waveguides (aka photonic crystals) which can be incorporated in the micro lenses themselves will take care of UV and IR sensitivities.

    Yes, it will happen (larger sensored M4/3rds or similar) but it will not happen with Leica.
    Both issues can be reduced by the means you note (Frankly one of them, the filtration issue, is entirely an issue of shutter/sensor clearance which could be resolved by a redesign of the basic body casting), but the issues with vignetting cannot be resolved with current micro-lens technology. The rear element on some M and LTM lenses is just too close to the sensor.

    The real answer is a combination of microlenses, lens coding and software based correction.

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    That is why I said it will not happen with Leica. It will happen with Olympus, Panasonic, Canon or Samsung. Even when the camera registry is <20mm.

    Leica? you need to code them.

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Ranger 9, I didn't mean a 24x36mm sensor.
    I could easily do with a 23x15mm (APS-C) or a 27x19mm (APS-H) for a start while technology matures

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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    Fair enough, although I think Vivek is right in saying that if such a thing is done, it won't be done by Leica -- they're too invested (both financially and philosophically) in tradition.

    Now that Panasonic has proven that it's possible to make an electronic viewfinder that will be acceptable to serious photographers, it will become possible to rethink a lot of camera-design paradigms.

    Over the years, most of the diversity in camera design has come not from the basics of enclosing the lens and imager (which hasn't really changed since the camera obscura) but in how you're supposed to aim and focus the dratted thing! Now that the viewfinder only needs to be connected to the imaging system electronically, rather than physically or optically, pretty much anything should be possible. To pull an example out of the air, how would you like to hold the camera like a flashlight, aiming it via a wirelessly connected, head-mounted eyepiece?

    No reason that couldn't be done. Whether a manufacturer would dare make it, or people would buy it, is another thing...

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Summicron 50 on M8 and G1

    What I would really like to see is a portrait shot with each system. Skin tones are the real test and where I have seen the best results from the G1 over the M8. But I didn't use a whi-bal so maybe that is why. Could you do that with a fair skinned model?
    V/r John

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