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Thread: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

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    Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    That first sentence just about says it all. As many might know, I shoot landscape images with a Cambo WRS1000 P45+ combo and while not extraordinary heavy it can be cumbersome when combined with a large tripod and head. I simply love this setup and have no plans of ever going away from it. What I need is a kick-*** small camera that has the image quality to stand by itself; capable of sustaining large prints.

    Going into this I have several ďgivensĒ the major one is that no 35mm is capable to matching the IQ of medium format. What Iím after is a camera that can hold its own and will act as a complementary camera. By that I mean be able to take on long hikes where I simply donít want to carry close to 30 lbs of gear in an area where Iím uncertain of what I might find. Instead carry a camera thatís full frame 35mm thatís small enough not to feel like it weights a ton by the end of the day and have lenses that are as capable of stunning IQ as my Scheinerís and fit in my pocket. And be able of producing files close to that of a 1DsIII.

    All this brings me to the Leica M9. I see the M9 as what the X-Pan should have be could be if it were ever brought back to life. I had used an X-Pan years ago and loved every minute of it so I donít foresee too many problems with the M9 as far as using a RF again.

    Iíve recently joined the Leica Forum although still in the lurking stage as I havenít actually joined in any on going thread have read just about everything I can on the M9. Which brings me to the next point; Iíve been reading of some of the same problems/concerns as posted here with the exception of one. The IR-absorbing cover glass being broken. It appears that this has been an on going concern since release on some but not all up to and including deliveries made as recently as this week. Has anyone here experienced this? I also understand that it can take a very long time just to reformat a card (which I do every time) so how long does it actually take and do you really need a fully charged battery? I understand one problem is a real while the other may be just a nit pick thatís settled by firmware update. Iíve also seen where Leica has stepped up to the plate and is fixing all cracked glass without question.

    In short (well for me thatís hard) Iím still convinced this is the right move for me however I plan on waiting a couple months before actually ordering; of course I have to do that any way since the M9 is on intergalactic-back order. I plan on having this with me next October as I spend close to a full month shooting in and around Jackson Hole WY.

    So please stand by as a new Leica owner is on his way. I also want to thank ďTom in MplsĒ for doing much of my leg work for me all the while thinking it was just for himself.

    Oh and by the way, Iím thinking of using a 50mm and 75mm lens to start then eventually get a 35 to ďround outĒ the kit.

    I welcome any and all suggestions/recommendations.

    Cheers

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    That first sentence just about says it all. As many might know, I shoot landscape images with a Cambo WRS1000 P45+ combo and while not extraordinary heavy it can be cumbersome when combined with a large tripod and head. I simply love this setup and have no plans of ever going away from it. What I need is a kick-*** small camera that has the image quality to stand by itself; capable of sustaining large prints.

    Going into this I have several ďgivensĒ the major one is that no 35mm is capable to matching the IQ of medium format. What Iím after is a camera that can hold its own and will act as a complementary camera. By that I mean be able to take on long hikes where I simply donít want to carry close to 30 lbs of gear in an area where Iím uncertain of what I might find. Instead carry a camera thatís full frame 35mm thatís small enough not to feel like it weights a ton by the end of the day and have lenses that are as capable of stunning IQ as my Scheinerís and fit in my pocket. And be able of producing files close to that of a 1DsIII.

    All this brings me to the Leica M9. I see the M9 as what the X-Pan should have be could be if it were ever brought back to life. I had used an X-Pan years ago and loved every minute of it so I donít foresee too many problems with the M9 as far as using a RF again.

    Iíve recently joined the Leica Forum although still in the lurking stage as I havenít actually joined in any on going thread have read just about everything I can on the M9. Which brings me to the next point; Iíve been reading of some of the same problems/concerns as posted here with the exception of one. The IR-absorbing cover glass being broken. It appears that this has been an on going concern since release on some but not all up to and including deliveries made as recently as this week. Has anyone here experienced this? I also understand that it can take a very long time just to reformat a card (which I do every time) so how long does it actually take and do you really need a fully charged battery? I understand one problem is a real while the other may be just a nit pick thatís settled by firmware update. Iíve also seen where Leica has stepped up to the plate and is fixing all cracked glass without question.

    In short (well for me thatís hard) Iím still convinced this is the right move for me however I plan on waiting a couple months before actually ordering; of course I have to do that any way since the M9 is on intergalactic-back order. I plan on having this with me next October as I spend close to a full month shooting in and around Jackson Hole WY.

    So please stand by as a new Leica owner is on his way. I also want to thank ďTom in MplsĒ for doing much of my leg work for me all the while thinking it was just for himself.

    Oh and by the way, Iím thinking of using a 50mm and 75mm lens to start then eventually get a 35 to ďround outĒ the kit.

    I welcome any and all suggestions/recommendations.

    Cheers

    Don

    Don,

    Buy a lens .... 35 Summicron or Lux and a GF1 or E-P1 with an adapter for now. 12 wonderful megapixels with great color maybe a tad less DR but for landscapes a great combination. See if you really gain a lot with the M9 but in the meantime you can begin to acquire the Leica glass and get back to smaller format captures. Advantage for the E-P1 is RRS has an L bracket for it.

    If the M9 coverglass and card incompatibility issues get resolved then make the move.

    Anything M wider than 24 will suffer on the M4/3 but that still approaches your 35/50/75 desires. The Pana 20 1.7 is a wonderful lens and the Oly 17 will find little fault especially at F4.

    Stitching and Helicon Focus will solve the small problems inherent in the system.


    Bob

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Don

    For landscape work, I wouldn't dismiss a M8 or M8.2 - especially as they can now be had for half the price of a M9. Firstly, why do you need full frame? Secondly, why do you need the 1-stop better low light performance of a M9?

    I've shot urban landscapes extensively my M8 and although I will probably eventually upgrade to a M9 it won't actually provide me with that many benefits over the M8 because most of the time, outdoor landscape photography does not require high iso settings or particularly wide lenses. My most successful landscape lens has actually been my 35-lux which is approximately 50mm given the M8 crop factor.

    Anyway, just thought I'd offer an alternate view

    LouisB

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Don,

    Buy a lens .... 35 Summicron or Lux and a GF1 or E-P1 with an adapter for now. 12 wonderful megapixels with great color maybe a tad less DR but for landscapes a great combination. See if you really gain a lot with the M9 but in the meantime you can begin to acquire the Leica glass and get back to smaller format captures. Advantage for the E-P1 is RRS has an L bracket for it.

    If the M9 coverglass and card incompatibility issues get resolved then make the move.

    Anything M wider than 24 will suffer on the M4/3 but that still approaches your 35/50/75 desires. The Pana 20 1.7 is a wonderful lens and the Oly 17 will find little fault especially at F4.

    Stitching and Helicon Focus will solve the small problems inherent in the system.


    Bob
    Card problems - none if you stick to Sandisk. Coverglass - about one in a thousand cameras....
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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaapv View Post
    Card problems - none if you stick to Sandisk. Coverglass - about one in a thousand cameras....

    Have they even made a thousand cameras?

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Iíve recently joined the Leica Forum although still in the lurking stage as I havenít actually joined in any on going thread have read just about everything I can on the M9. Which brings me to the next point; Iíve been reading of some of the same problems/concerns as posted here with the exception of one. The IR-absorbing cover glass being broken. It appears that this has been an on going concern since release on some but not all up to and including deliveries made as recently as this week. Has anyone here experienced this? I also understand that it can take a very long time just to reformat a card (which I do every time) so how long does it actually take and do you really need a fully charged battery? I understand one problem is a real while the other may be just a nit pick thatís settled by firmware update. Iíve also seen where Leica has stepped up to the plate and is fixing all cracked glass without question.
    Hi Don,
    the broken IR-absorbing cover glass happened to my camera, it was there from the very first shot. And I'm not alone, it happened to others as well. However some had a good camera and the crack appeared later on. But if you're going to pick up you camera from the shop (advisable!), I think it's wise to check it right away in the shop. Regarding Jaap's estimate and given a production number of around 4000 by now, I'm a bit more pessimistic here, somewhere between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 500 I'd say. Mind you, all we know is that Leica acknowledges the problem, but actual cause and wheter it has been solved remains unknown to date. Got my camera replaced last Wednesday and I'm a 'happy chappy' ever since ...

    Formating a 4Gb Sandisk Ultra (II) card takes me about 21 secs and doesn't require a full battery. However if you require overwriting all data (making it impossible to recover the pictures) than you'll need a (almost) full battery. And yes this takes ages to complete, about 8:45 mins. Just don't use this option

    Kind regards.
    Bart ...

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    HI Don
    I'm convinced you need an M9 as well. I think it's wonderful for landscape work when you want to travel light - probably better than anything other than a decent MF setup. You can already create a big print, stitching can make it huge.

    As for the issues - I'm certain that the 'slow formatting' issue will be sorted out in the near future via firmware, as for the cracked IR filter, I'm sure that it's very annoying, but it seems that Leica have taken ownership of this (Stefan Daniel actually posting on the LUF thread). If you're unlucky enough to have it happen . . . then it'll get sorted under warranty.

    But why wait? You'll just be depriving yourself of those great pictures.

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    While I've seen some of the same names as here as on the Leica Forum I tend to put more stock on what I've seen here thus my post here instead of there. Many many thanks to all who have replied here as well.

    Bob - I really have no desire to experiment with another camera thus I've ruled out the GF-1 or E-P1. I'll fuss up and say that I've been using a G-9 and G-10 for a couple years and while they've served me well in getting images for my blog I'd never offer any images past say 11x14 and for me that's just about equal to a wallet size!

    LouisB - Great minds run alike (or is that amuck?). I had thought of getting a M8.2 then I re-thought it as I really want a full frame 35mm. Simple as that.

    Jappy - The only cards I own or will ever own/use is Sandisk - period. While the coverglass is worrisome I have no doubt that it will be fixed.

    Knorp - Sorry to hear you were one of the unfortunate ones. This is new territory and I would expect bumps on the road; I just down want to be the one who has to go over that bump.

    Please tell me more about the formatting. My normal practice is to re-format a card every time I reuse it. Formatting a card will normally take it back to an empty state (for lack of a better term) thus deleting everything on the card. In reading your response it looks like I can (currently) expect almost 9 mins - am I correct?

    Jono - I agree, I think this will be the closest to my MF setup and that's why I call it my complementary camera. While close it wouldn't be exact but no 35mm is. What this will allow me to do is capture images on a hike that I might not normally do due to weight considerations. If I find a subject that I feel deserves MF I can always return with the heavy stuff all the while capturing great files in the meantime.

    I was very impressed with Stefan Daniel's post by the way.

    And to all - there's several reasons for my self imposed waiting, main among them is if I order now I'll be at the very bottom of any list I happen to get on so why not wait till the dust settles and Leica comes to speed. Then again there's the little and not so little problems that may or may not pop up that I really don't feel like having to deal with. I've got several trips already planed early this year where I can get by without the camera. Visiting Ken in Carmel for Capture Integration's Pigs in a blanket followed by a week in Sequoia is one example. I've hinted with Dave to bring a Leica with him so I can play err use it. I have no real need for a small walk around till I get to Jackson Hole and that's not till October. The current plan is waiting till there's no or very little waiting list and it would also be great to see a firmware upgrade as well. In either case I'm looking at beginning of summer.

    Now Sandy is saying she'd like the new X1 and we'd sell every G camera we have.

    So many camera decisions with so little money...

    Thanks again

    Don
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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Here's my thought process regarding the focal lengths:

    For MF I shoot as wide as 24mm and as long as 120mm. I also use a 24-105mm on my 1DsII IR camera and find I use a focal length between 35 and 90 more than anything else.

    I shoot landscape. Period. I don't shoot people nor do I like to. Yes I've been know to occasionally but it is so rare as to not even be there. The images I sell are all landscape. Shooting MF, I consider a fast lens at f/4.

    I'm looking at the 50mm f2.0 Summicron and either the 75mm f/2.5 Summarit or the f/2.0 Summicron. Then for a wide lens the 35mm f/2.0 Summicron. All these should be more than fast enough for my style of shooting.

    I'm not so dense that I can't see using the M9 in ways I don't already so for now I'm keeping an open mind on the lenses and of course I'm watching the Buy/Sell section.

    Don
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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Knorp - Sorry to hear you were one of the unfortunate ones. This is new territory and I would expect bumps on the road; I just down want to be the one who has to go over that bump.

    Please tell me more about the formatting. My normal practice is to re-format a card every time I reuse it. Formatting a card will normally take it back to an empty state (for lack of a better term) thus deleting everything on the card. In reading your response it looks like I can (currently) expect almost 9 mins - am I correct?
    Don, same practice here. With the M8 formatting 4Gb is just a matter of 3 seconds, but with the current M9 firmware it's 21 seconds. Formatting will just clear the directory making the pictures inaccessible but in fact they are still there and with the appropriate software you could recover them. The overwrite mode however will write I suppose a pattern of ones and zeros to the card making the pictures unrecoverable. For every day practice I can't see its use, but perhaps for safety reasons against misuse. And yes overwriting 4Gb takes almost 9 minutes.

    Kind regards.
    Bart ...

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    When I shot with Leica, My favorites were
    the f2.0 and f2.8 lens. Had the 35 & 50 Summicron
    and 90/f2.8. That lens speed range is a good balance
    between cost, weight, and usability.
    You will love the M9

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    In my experience, card speed has not been a problem. After various bad experiences with other brands, I stick with Sandisk. I am using the 16Gb Ultra II card, and its faster than the camera. A full format takes about 90s. I stay away from "Overwrite" (equivalent to Low-Level Format) as its just not necessary, and is time-consuming even on a really fast camera. Normally I just tell the camera to "Delete All" after hitting playback.

    As for lenses, your choices sound excellent. I personally love my 75mm Summicron; its perhaps one of my favorite lenses after the 50mm Summilux.

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_Tuttle View Post
    Have they even made a thousand cameras?
    Over four thousand - about fifty a day...
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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Don - Congratulations ahead of your purchase. You probably have seen the artlcle Michael R. Wrote on using the M9 as a convenient hiking camera yielding stunning IQ. He recommends using a monopod and I use the manfrotto he recomends as it adjusts height easily with one hand and foot. I'll have my M9 in Jackson Hole and Yellowstone in June by the way. If your getting a 35 I highly recomend the lux asph which is turning into my most used lens on the M9. For very wide, consider the Wate, anyway I am. Best....Peter

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Quote Originally Posted by innerimager View Post
    Don - Congratulations ahead of your purchase. You probably have seen the artlcle Michael R. Wrote on using the M9 as a convenient hiking camera yielding stunning IQ. He recommends using a monopod and I use the manfrotto he recomends as it adjusts height easily with one hand and foot. I'll have my M9 in Jackson Hole and Yellowstone in June by the way. If your getting a 35 I highly recomend the lux asph which is turning into my most used lens on the M9. For very wide, consider the Wate, anyway I am. Best....Peter

    Thank you Peter. I figure Iíll start with a 50 and 75 then eventually a 35 for my landscape work. Of course this reminds me of when I first started with the Cambo WRS and 2 lenses; Iím up to 4 now and counting!

    The last time I was in Jackson Hole was mid to late September 2006 and the colors where just on the verge of popping. What a great area anytime of the year.

    Don
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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    In October 2008 I went on a landscape/moose trip into Baxter state park in Maine. I used both a 1DSMK3 and M8. I found that the M8 shots were every bit as good and most times better than the Canon. Except of course long lens stuff. I got my M9 just before my trip this past september and after checking the files sold off all my Canon gear except my 400 DO lens and bought a 7D. This is now my wildlife rig and the M9 I use for almost everything else. Depending on whether you like to shoot wide or not I would not get both a 50 and 75. I have both the 50 lux and 75 summicron and they are both excellent lenses but I tend to use the 75 to isolate something. The 35 is a fantastic street lens (I have the summi) I probably use the 24 lux the most. I also have the wate which is really good for ultrawide.

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Don,

    I can vouch for how sharp the 75 Summarit is on the M8, and it has nice bokeh too. And I love my 35mm cron (again on the M8). Cindy Flood can probably help you with the 50 summicron as I think she has a photographic memory of all the lenses she has used and that is a considerable number :>)

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    Re: Iíve convinced myself I need/want a M9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Thank you Peter. I figure Iíll start with a 50 and 75 then eventually a 35 for my landscape work. Of course this reminds me of when I first started with the Cambo WRS and 2 lenses; Iím up to 4 now and counting!

    The last time I was in Jackson Hole was mid to late September 2006 and the colors where just on the verge of popping. What a great area anytime of the year.

    Don
    Hey Don

    Just a suggestion. You may want to consider a used 75 Lux. You get the speed and it is a perfect portrait lens at 1.4 or 2.0. Slightly soft but has a dreamy Leica look that really compliments portraits. By the time you stop it down to 5.6 or 8.0 it is almost as sharp as the modern 75 Cron so works well for landscapes.

    I also feel that the 50 Lux pre-asph is a really good lens. Has that dreamy look wide open and by 5.6 to 8.0 is almost as sharp as the new 50 Lux Asph.

    So I like the fact that you get two lenses which do double duty as portrait lenses and are also very good for landscapes. With the new Aspheres you can't get the dreamy look unless you try some stuff in PP.

    Hope this might help

    Woody

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