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Thread: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Hey everyone, my first post on this very nice forum. I'm not sure how I ended up here, but I'm delighted to discover there's a fair amount of experience with the M8 present.

    Without too many tedious details, I'm returning to photography after a 20 year layoff. As a student in the 70s, I was fortunate to have carried an M3 with 35, 50, and 90 lenses. The sad thing is, I wasn't all that excited about it then since my real passion was 4x5. Fast forward to the present and I decided last year to jump into the digital world and bought a Nikon D2xs with 12-24, 55-70, and 70-200.

    It's been a fun learning and re-learning experience. The thing I am liking least however, is the fact that it's pretty hard to blend in when you're carrying the mass of a camera and lens combo like the D2xs. Sometimes it's not an issue, but there are enough times that it is.

    So... I've been considering the M8 as an additional setup. But after scanning a bunch of the threads here and reviews elsewhere, I'm a bit overwhelmed. Is there a thread or threads here that might have a listing of a decent "kit" for the M8? Are there lenses for the M8 that offer different quality and price point options? What about the issues of color cast and banding? Have they been resolved?

    Hope you don't mind me asking, but this group more than any other I've found seems to have a great deal of real-world M8 experience. Thanks in advance for your response and thanks to the hosts for the opportunity to ask.

    Tim

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Welcome to the forum, I'll start with lenses at different price points and quality, The CV lenses built with either the M-mount or LTM converter are outstanding low price high quality.

    As for a decent kit, that's going to depend on your shooting style and needs. I do lots of low light and my kit is very different from some one doing landscapes.

    Banding seems to be fixed. Color cast if you are referring to the Magenta blacks it's function of the sensor, just put IR cut filters on and have fun.

    Another very good cheap resource is a subscription to Reid Reviews. I has saved me many times over the cost of the subscription and Sean is a devoted professional user of range finders.

    I think you find this good place to learn and feel free to ask questions. I know I ask a lot....

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Welcome Tim . Man you asked the loaded question and a very good one too. You will get many answers here which is great to have to go by. i think the best advice i can give folks on lens choices is first find the lens that is your so called normal lens . The go to lens or what i like to call the lens cap lens. For me that is the 28mm and for others it is the 35mm. now depending on which lens fits YOU the best than you build from there. Now say 28mm is the lens to build around than it all comes to spacing for 28 users you could go 15,21,28,50 and 75 or 90. For the 35mm lens cap folks than a 15 or 18 , 24, 35, 75 maybe the best spacing lenses. So before you start going crazy like some of us here and buy everything ( okay guilty as charged , no question) i think you would serve yourself better by knowing what that lens cap is than we can build you a system depending on your budget and needs. Just in lenses alone there are 3 major brands Leica, Zeiss and CV and all three have different budget ranges and the all have a different looks and feel, so the choices seem endless and in a way they are. But maybe tell us what you currently use and that go to lens. Let's figure that out, now if you can get to a store and look at the M8 and try some glass even better.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Thanks John and Guy. All new territory for me and you've suggested some very good first steps. I'll certainly make use of the Reid reviews and keep the CV lens link in my back pocket until I learn a little more about the universe of available lenses.

    And that universe seems rather large! Without starting any kind of flaming debate, can anyone provide a from-the-hip-without-excruciating-technical-detail assessment of the perceived qualities of the 3 major lens mfgs (Leica, Zeiss, CV) that fit the M8? At this early stage I'd like to hear some informed generalizations about the products from each--some "conventional wisdom" about the differences between the three.

    As for my Go-To focal length, I think I'd want to look through both the 28 and 35 while mounted on the M8. But my initial thought is it would likely be the 28 since I guestimate that it will be closer to the 35 Summicron I used on my old M3, which was almost permanently mounted on the body. I pretty much never used the 50.

    Thanks again, this is really helpful.

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    Manatee
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    As I mentioned in a former thread I'm about to step up to Leica M8 as well.

    I'm thinking of buying a M6 first to see if RF is the right thing for me.

    I found a list with serial numbers and corresponding production dates for the M6.

    Is there also a list with serialnumbers/production dates for the lenses on the net?

    Then another maybe silly question which has nothing to do with the fine art of photography: I see you guys using real short message jargon like LOL, ROTFL etc. etc. Please introduce me, being a Dutchmen with only limited knowledge of English, in this world.....

    THX

    Rob

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Manatee View Post
    As I mentioned in a former thread I'm about to step up to Leica M8 as well.

    I'm thinking of buying a M6 first to see if RF is the right thing for me.

    I found a list with serial numbers and corresponding production dates for the M6.

    Is there also a list with serialnumbers/production dates for the lenses on the net?

    Then another maybe silly question which has nothing to do with the fine art of photography: I see you guys using real short message jargon like LOL, ROTFL etc. etc. Please introduce me, being a Dutchmen with only limited knowledge of English, in this world.....

    THX

    Rob
    Lens dates and serial numbers

    Download Erwin Puts Leica Lens Compendium. It has a table of serial numbers and production dates and much more but take some of Erwin's observations with large shaker of salt.

    He has a lot of data on his site regarding lens look it over.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Manatee,

    The abbreviations you refer to (LOL, etc) are "acronyms," shorthand ways of saying common things. For example, LOL is "laughing out loud." A list appears here: http://www.eoecho.com/gregmagnus/acr...w-now-gbtw-yw/

    Steve

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    Manatee
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Thanks John and Steve

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Tim,
    Welcome. I will jump in with some of my personal thoughts here, but please do realize that there are an incredible number of very astute, talented and active Leica shooters on this forum that will be able to give excellent and sometime contrary opinions. Enjoy the reads and the thoughts.....great community of very helpful folks.

    Your questions about differences among the various line of lenses (CV, Zeiss and Leica) is excellently reviewed many times by Sean Reid, as has been mentioned. There are others that only consider Leica glass the best. My personal kit has all three for very different reasons, including cost, contrast, "look", and specific focal length or aperture needs. Generally, the Zeiss lenses tend to be very sharp and produce a bit more contrast than many of the Leica or CV lenses. That may or may not matter for some. I put a Zeiss 25/2.8 lens into my kit because I wanted a "sharp to the edges", more contrasty "look" for the wider angle shots I like to to take with it. Very specific choice on my part. The Leica counterpart is outstanding also, but does not have the "bite" that I desired. In the mid-range, I have a CV 35/1.2 Nokton, a CV 50/1.5 Nokton, and a Leica 50/1.0 Noctilux. All have vastly different looks and capabilities. The CV 35/1.2 Nokton is there because I love shooting in lower light, love the angle of view, and for street work, the slightly less contrasty look it delivers for me is what I enjoy there. The Leica 35/1.4 is a stunner for sure, and folks will rightly rave about it. It is both too clinically sharp and contrasty for my needs, and it costs a whole lot more. The Leica 50/1.0 Noctilux is without a question in my mind, one of the most unique imagers I have ever seen or used. I love it. However, for normal shooting at f5.6 and up, it is no different, in my eyes than any other Leica, Zeiss or CV lens. It is a stunner at f1.0-1.4 where nothing else can do what it does. I carry a CV 50/1.5 Nokton as my "other 50" because it delivers images very close to the Leica 50/1.4, but at a fraction of the cost. A bit less contrasty, and maybe not as razor sharp, but it does not give up much ground, in my humble opinion.

    On the really wide side, I went with a CV 15/4.5 Heliar. Maybe the best deal to toss into a bag for an excellent wide angle view. It comes with its own peculiarities, like not being rangefinder coupled, and needing some work to get it properly coded and filtered to use like a Leica lens, but all worth the effort. It is slower, has a bit of a warm color cast, and does not really shine until about f6.3 or so, but outstanding little gem for many folks. At this wide end, Leica's 16-18-21/4 WATE is incredible for many. Costly, but still great. The Zeiss 18/4 looks to also be quite outstanding at less cost, maybe more contrast, but capable of holding to the edges. Just need to fiddle with it for filters and coding mount.

    Others will offer more insights on the other wides in the 21-28 range, as well as longer end stuff, should you be interested. Take a look at some of the great threads from Guy and others on the new Leica Summarits. They also look to be outstanding lenses at more reasonable prices for building an excellent kit.

    Hope I have not offended too many with my comments, but this is a great and tolerant group, and I appreciate all their insights. Read as much as you can stand, as there is some great perspectives, and some excellent example image postings to support many of the comments and thoughts.

    Like you, I started with and M early on (M4 in the late 70s). Things are quite different and very exciting now for Leica, and there are so many more options for building a great kit over a wide range of needs and prices. Hope some of this perspective helps.

    LJ

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    LJ--Thanks for your insight. I am beginning to understand just how much I don't understand. But that's the challenge (or one of the challenges) when contemplating a new camera system.

    One thing that seems to emerge from this short discussion and in some of the other threads, is the idea that the various lenses are being compared as equal in many ways and the final choice can be made based on a stylistic preference rather than strictly technical performance. That's a new concept to me since most of the lens options for other camera systems are based on something like a cost/performance relationship. For example, you can buy one of Nikon's best lenses and achieve the ultimate performance the lens/camera system offers or you can pay a bit less with a 3rd party lens and achieve results that come close for far less money. I'm not hearing that kind of comparison here.

    I have lots of reading (and dreaming) to do! Thanks again!

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    You've got it Tim... Because Leica has been around so long and their lenses have been excellent for several decades, we are forced to use vague adjectives when trying to explain the differences in the look between the various versions. Unfortunately, this has led to us using words like "signature" and "fingerprint" when referring to the way a lens "draws" or "paints" it's image, and thus Leica shooters often appear snobbish to the uninformed; we're not, we just don't have a better mechanism to describe the subtle differences But hang around for even a few weeks, and you'll pick up on most of it pretty quickly.

    Cheers and welcome!
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    I have a long winded answer just saving it for the early morning when the brain actually works. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  13. #13
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    I'm relatively new to the RF system myself but here are a few observations based on the lenses I've tried since getting my M8.

    The Zeiss 25 ZM is one of the best bang for the buck lenses. Stopped down a little it is brutally sharp and has great contrast if you prefer the look. It's the one Zeiss lens that I would consider over its Leica counterparts. The Leica's tend to perform better wide open though which is a priority for me as I do a lot of low light work. So here I would go with the 24 elmarit asph or 28cron but that's me.

    At 35mm the Leica cron asph can be found at pretty reasonable prices used and is extremely sharp but once again heavy on the contrast. A lower contrast and faster alternative is the CV 35 Nokton which I think has a nice fingerprint though I have only owned the Cron and not the CV. The ultimate lens at this focal length is the pricey 35 lux asph which I think is the best balance of size and speed and it has a wonderful and in my eyes the most pleasing fingerprint of all the 35's though many others will have their own preferences, namely earlier pre-asph version crons.

    At 50mm the Lux asph can do no wrong. A bit pricey but it has given me the most WOw factor than any other lens. Open it up and it has wonderful bokeh for isolating subjects and is a great portrait lens for me. The Noctilux at its current prices is probably the lens with the least bang for the buck but if you want to take pictures that have a look like no other then this is the lens to own. I have difficulty focusing this one wide open and it can be hit and miss depending on what you are shooting but when you get it right with the Nocti it can produce a look that you can't get anywhere else.

    At 28mm the cron asph is king. Balanced contrast and with great sharpness and color saturation. For me this lens has one of the most pleasing fingerprints in the entire Leica lineup. This is the one you want if you could only have one lens on the M8.

    At 21mm and wider the Zeiss 21 ZM is a great value. Sharp out to the corners. I sold this for the 21 asph again for the better sharpness wide open in the center. The 21 apsh is pricey but in my opinion this is where RF systems come into theri own at the wide end. The sharpness and colors I get from my 21 asph are what I always wanted and never got out of my Canon system and L lenses. I love the fingerprint of this one which in my eyes is right up there with the 28 cron asph. The WATE is the most versatile lens with its three focal lengths and it has a distinctly Leica look (colors and tonality) but there is a reason I can't quite let go of the 21 asph despite the overlap and its not just the extra stop.

    So a great bang for the buck starting point I think would be Zeiss 25 and the Leica 35 cron asph. If you want to go all out then the Leica 21asph, 28cron asph, 50 lux asph may be a good base to start with. Again, others may have completely different preferences but most of these M mount lenses are so good its difficult to find fault with any of them.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Morning all M8 shooters hopefully you have better weather than me this morning to do some shooting. Anyway Tim i got up early so i can get into my long writing mood. LOL First off you came to the right place , many experienced shooters and M8 owners here. So let's start with the M8 itself and i know you have been reading a lot so far but thinks are pretty good with the M8 and yes it has a few Warts but essential it performs great provided you know what to expect from a camera. One issue today is the use of IR filters. In the beginning Leica made the IR cut off to weak and skipping all the reasons what and what happened the bottom line comes down the fact to the most accurate color the use of IR filters is needed. Besides that if you are shooting any syntethic clothing without the filter it will have a magenta cast. No to control that the use of filters is needed but when you use a lens from 35mm and wider there starts to becoming a cyan drift in the corners. So leica designed there firmware to eliminate that drift when using IR filters and specifically the the Leica IR filters the firmware is tuned to and with a lot of testing around here and such use leica filters at least from 21mm or 24mm wider since the firmware is tuned to them they get rid of the drift better than the use of the B=W filters. We can get into more detail on all this but just to give you a good basic rundown. Buy the filters and put them on every lens and forget everything i just said, it can be that easy to ignore all this stuff.

    Okay before i get to far off the Ir filters , Leica uses a 6 bit code to identify the lens in use , so if you put a 24mm elmarit on with the coding the firmware knows how much correction to throw in to clean up any of the cyan drift and such. So to the users everything gets corrected in the Raw file and you don't have to worry about it.

    Now the trick here is coding the lenses so this correction will happen otherwise the camera does not know what is on the camera at all. One reason many folks just buy the Leica glass and get there lens coded at the factory or repair facilities . Buying new the codes are already there.

    Now with Zeiss and the CV lens (Voightlander) they do not have this code. So there are several tricks around to code your CV and Zeiss lenses so the can copy the coding of a lens that matches . say you have a Zeiss 28 than you can code it for a leica 2.8 elmarit and so on. We can really get into a lot of detail here and there are some places that can mill the coding spots into the lenses and even make custom rear mounts AKA my Zeiss 18mm has a custom mount on it and is coded for Leica's Wide angle Tri elmar which we call it the WATE lens. Also the Voigtlander lenses are screw mount lense so you need a adpter to a M mount to use them on the M8, now here there is a gentleman named John Milich that makes a custom screw on adapter that has the recessed holes for coding which you the end user fills in with Black and White nail polish to match the code to the Leica lenses. Many folks have a Voightlander 15mm and do this for example than they jam or John makes a hood that they can put a 39mm IR filter in it. Again we can get into this as you go along. i would be here for days describing all of this andi may miss some points so as you ask specific questions the members here can guide you in the right direction.


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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Go

    Did not want to lose what i wrote sorry , been logging people in and answering PM'S also so i have ten pages open .

    Okay let's move on to Lenses and basically what some of the differences are . Now i have a couple Zeiss lens and CV lenses that i have used . i do suggest reading Seans reviews on the lenses to since they will be more in depth plus he really does a nice job on testing. This forum is very good friends with him and he is also around here a lot too so if you have specific questions he certainly will jump in and help. One other thing to is we have a LOT of experts here that really are being quiet at the moment but there are some real brains around here to help too.

    Okay leica lenses , Zeiss lens and CV lenses all have different price points besides having different construction and looks or fingerprints as Jack said.

    leica has 4 modern lens designs actually 5 but lets talk about the 4 main ones.

    Summilux are the 1.4 lenses which there are 3/ 35,50,75
    Summricrons are the F2 lenses which there are 5 28,35,50,75,90
    Elmarits are the 2.8 lenses and there are 3 or 4 21,24,50,90
    Summarits are the newest lense 2.5 speed and there are 4 35,50,75,90
    Elmars i don't even know all these but there is the WATE which is a Tri-Elmar 16,18,21 all in one lens.

    I may have missed a few and i certainly will be corrected trust me, leica owners are pretty detail folks and they will correct me as they should.

    Now lets just talk about the looks of them because this is were the rubber hits the road and i will use general comments from folks that i have read and include what I know.

    Summilux lenses first off are pretty expensive because there is special lens elements in them and there design is very complex because there built for speed and across the board leica designs for great performance wide open that is the leica way and in all there series of lenses they build for performance wide open or slightly stopped down and often there best apertures in general are at F4 and 5.6 .

    Now the 35 and 50 are very sharp wide open and the 75mm is also but not to the degree as the 35 and 50 which are ASPH lenses , i will just talk the modern lenses than questions about the older designs no ASPH you can ask questions on. The 75mm is not ASPH. Now the Summiluxes tend to be very sharp in the middle wide open but tend to be soft in the corners and lower contrast until you stop them down a touch. So the 50 and 75 tend to be very nice portrait lenses , now the 50 asph is something special because it is amazing wide open and stop down, there is not a better 50mm lens made IMHO. It is deadly sharp

    Summricrons in general the summricrons were built to be the best at F2 and stopping down only adds DOF to the images so there great contrast wide open and they pretty much stay that way all the way through the apertures. They tend to have high saturation and contrast and are very sharp across the frame even wide open. Very nice lenses and if you want sharp and punchy these will not disappoint.

    Elamrits i can only speak of the 21mm and 24mm. These are wonderful wide angles and the 24mm i consider the sharpest in it's class although the Zeiss 25mm folks may have something to say about that. The 21mm is very very good and i love it but has a nicer smoother look than say the leica 24mm . Both extremely good lenses and either one will make you a very happy camper. i own the 21mm myself

    Summarits these are new lenses and right now many test being done on these by myself and Sean also. There budget priced but not budget in quality and actuall y very very nice please see the reviews on these here and Seans site. To me there riding the middle between the look of the Lux and the look of the Cron. There price tag is very attractive 1495 for the 35,70,90 and 1195 for the 50mm I believe. i bought the 90mm myself.

    Elmars i can only speak of the WATE which is a 16,18,21 F4 lens and it is actually a zoom tecnically but has indents for each focal length. Great lens and wonderful for traveling and produces extremely nice images but It does have a price tag too.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Zeiss maybe let some members talk about these more since i only own the 18mm


    CV lens if some members can talk about them a little also. But these are very inexpensive and do produce great results almost everyone seems to have a 15mm and at 350 dollars they should. I have a 12mm which no one makes a 12mm besides CV and i love it , great little lens but these are not RF coupled so quessing is part of the fun with focusing

    Please excuse any spelling errors if i corrected them everyone would think i did not write this stuff
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    On the whole Leica versus third party lenses, I think you are better off just getting the Leica lens unless it is a focal length you will not be using much.

    Some people start off with the third party lenses and then the Leica bug hits and they have to have the best, a Leica lens. If you just buy the Leica lens to begin with you avoid the extra expense of the third party lens.

    My suggestion would be to start with a used Leica lens or one of the new Elmarits.

    Robert

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    I am new to the M8 and rangefinders in general (and very much an amateur). I had the double problem of not only what lenses to get but what focal lengths would be my go to. I didn't want to make a big mistake and had some excellent emails back and forth with Sean Reid. I bought the CV35 f2.5 and CV75 f2.5 as my first two lenses (of course along with the required 15). In addition, with the advent of the M8 and the crop factor Leica lenses in anything wider than a 50 were not at all easy to find.

    But, then as Robert said above the "I want to have a Leica lense syndrome set in" and I bought a new coded 50 'cron. On the used side it was easier to find longer focal lengths and I got a 90 Macro Elmar (guy forgot this one one the list). It is as Jack puts a two-fer. Really nice, small collapsible 90mm lens and adapter to use it close up for macros.

    Yes, it is nice to have Leica coded lenses and not worry about getting adapters and self coding the lenses.

    Then......

    I was going away on a trip and feeling like I had nothing on the wide end that was fast. The advice from the expert owners here was the 28 'cron. I have found "my" lens. Love the focal length and it will be on the camera most of the time. An expensive choice of lenses but not one regret in buying it.

    So, one big thing in your favor is that the backlog of lens backorders seems to be clearing and there are more being list as available and in stock at dealers. In addition the Summarit just got launched which adds new possibilities.

    FWIW - I am going to stick to the CVs for my focal lengths between the 28, 50 and 90 as I don't change lenses that much and just step forward or back.

    terry

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    FWIW - I am going to stick to the CVs for my focal lengths between the 28, 50 and 90 as I don't change lenses that much and just step forward or back.

    terry
    What I wonder is how often people use the CV lenses after getting a Leica lens? I can see it when the CV lens is a 15mm or 21mm and the other Leica lenses are 24mm and up.

    In your case Terry, I bet you will use the 28mm Cron before going to the 35mm CV. In other words, the money spent on the 35mm CV was a waste unless you use it or sell it. The point I was trying to make in the first post is that buying CV or Zeiss lenses just costs you more money rather than saves you money.

    Robert

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    What I wonder is how often people use the CV lenses after getting a Leica lens? I can see it when the CV lens is a 15mm or 21mm and the other Leica lenses are 24mm and up.

    In your case Terry, I bet you will use the 28mm Cron before going to the 35mm CV. In other words, the money spent on the 35mm CV was a waste unless you use it or sell it. The point I was trying to make in the first post is that buying CV or Zeiss lenses just costs you more money rather than saves you money.

    Robert
    I think you are right Robert. Once you spend $5K to get the body it is unlikely that you will be satisfied with the cheaper lens alternatives, at least over the long haul. However I am unsure as to whether this is more about brand loyalty, some snobbery etc than with image quality. If you carefully read some of Sean Reid's reviews the Zeiss lenses in particular and the CV lenses in many cases have extremely high image quality although drawing differently than the Leica counterparts. Now understand that I pose this as a possibility while owning Leica lenses exclusively.

    Woody

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    What I wonder is how often people use the CV lenses after getting a Leica lens? I can see it when the CV lens is a 15mm or 21mm and the other Leica lenses are 24mm and up.

    In your case Terry, I bet you will use the 28mm Cron before going to the 35mm CV. In other words, the money spent on the 35mm CV was a waste unless you use it or sell it. The point I was trying to make in the first post is that buying CV or Zeiss lenses just costs you more money rather than saves you money.

    Robert
    Yes, particularly with the new Summarits I agree if you have the budget go for it.

    But, at the same it is scary at just how much I have now spent on my "kit" when you add batteries, handgrip, 1.25x, and other assorted must haves. The cost of the CV35 is only $210 which I think is less than the grip!

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    I don't know, my 35mm Ultron has a wonderful look, all its own, and I imagine I'd go to it even if I had a Leica lens. Horses for courses, wot?

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    First: Holy Cow!

    Second: I have some reading to do.

    Third: Thank you for your patience and your thoughtful replies. This level of interest and enthusiasm shows how passionate you all are about Leica and the M8 in particular. I only hope I can return the favor some day. After I concentrate on the replies to date and absorb the info therein, I'll be back.

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    I just don't see any Leica lens which could replace the CV 28/3.5. It's sharpness is amazing and so compact. It makes the M8 almost as pocketable as a IIIG with the collapsible Summicron.
    Last edited by johnastovall; 8th December 2007 at 11:55.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    I just don't see any Leica lens which could replace the CV 28/3.5. It's sharpness is amazing and so compact. It makes the M8 almost a pocketable as a IIIG with the collapsible Summicron.
    I'l second that. It really is a fantastic lens.

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    I'l second that. It really is a fantastic lens.
    I don't know about that. I find the Leica 28 cron to be an outrageously sharp lens with a wonderful look to the images. OOF areas are great although that is not so important at 28mm. Plus it is two stops faster. Got to see it and use it before rendering judgement IMO. YMMV By the way I am not rendering judgement about the CV 28 as I have never used it

    Woody

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    I don't know about that. I find the Leica 28 cron to be an outrageously sharp lens with a wonderful look to the images. OOF areas are great although that is not so important at 28mm. Plus it is two stops faster. Got to see it and use it before rendering judgement IMO. YMMV By the way I am not rendering judgement about the CV 28 as I have never used it

    Woody
    Well, just because another lens is also fantastic, that doesn't mean that other lenses can't be fantastic, too. The CV's combination of drawing, size and price make it pretty wonderful.

    In my ideal world, I'd have a full stable of Leica and CV and Zeiss glass.

  28. #28
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Like you I started with Photography in the late 60's and into the 70's with various cameras but once I got my hands on a Leica M3, in 1972, nothing else worked for me. Fast forward to the middle 90's, without owning any camera from the middle 70's (Stolen and never replaced), and a desire to get back into photography.
    I bought a cheap Pentax film camera and maybe shot 3 or 4 rolls of film through it. It then sat in a closet and is still there. Early 2000's I bought a Canon P&S Digital and really liked it but it just didn't give me what I was looking for.
    In early 2005 I decided to buy a good camera and I first looked for a Leica. Nothing was really available in digital, at least nothing I wanted, from Leica so since I had used and like Nikon way back when I bought a D200 and various lenses, some good some cheap (sold the cheap stuff and kept the good stuff). But the D200 wasn't really cutting it for me. I then bought a used M3, actually at one time I had 4 of them, and 3 lenses, all used. Then I heard that Leica was coming out with a Digital M. Well I couldn't wait. I even thought about ordering one before they were even released. Then the problems with the M8 started to flood the internet forums right after it was release so I held off as long as I could. Once Leica came up with a fix and recalled all shipped cameras, whether they were in users hands or on store shelves, I said now is the time. That was in January 2006. I couldn't be more happy. It is just a pleasure to use and goes everywhere with me.
    I now have 2 bodies and lenses from 21mm to 135mm, soon there will be a 18mm in my list of lenses.
    All but one of my lenses are Leitz/Leica lenses the one that isn't is a CV 21mm f/4 Skopar M-Mount version. It is a great lens, especial for what it costs.
    Good luck with whatever you decided.
    Here are 2 versions of a image I shot today with the M8 and CV 21mm hand held @ f/4 1/60 ISO 640. First one is what came out of the camera and the second is PP through ACR & Photoshop CS3.
    Attachment 598

    Attachment 599

  29. #29
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    On the whole Leica versus third party lenses, I think you are better off just getting the Leica lens unless it is a focal length you will not be using much.

    Some people start off with the third party lenses and then the Leica bug hits and they have to have the best, a Leica lens. If you just buy the Leica lens to begin with you avoid the extra expense of the third party lens.

    My suggestion would be to start with a used Leica lens or one of the new Elmarits.

    Robert
    HI Rob
    three months ago I'd have agreed with you. However, there are exceptions, three of my favorites are:
    Zeiss 25mm biogon
    This has a different feel from the excellent Leica 24mm, but it has fantastic contrast and is very very sharp - it's a great lens for dramatic medium wide landscapes.

    Zeiss 50mm f1.5 sonnar
    I got this lens by mistake! I love it - wide open it has a dreamy look about it slightly reminiscent of the Noctilux, but with a lovely bokeh - very 1930's. By f5.6 it is also brutally sharp like the biogon - it's also very small - versatile and full of character

    CV 15mm f4.5
    What a little cracker - again, it's tiny, really good for those moments when you don't want to be carrying the WATE, and above around f6.3 it's pin sharp.

    Of course, all three of these benefit from 6 bit coding, which is a bother, but the lenses themselves have characteristics which aren't really provided by their Leica counterparts.

    Just this guy you know

  30. #30
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    Thumbs up Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    I'm confused as to which photo is the “first one”. In any event, I really like the top photo (darker) as it is very well balanced with brilliant colors.
    Last edited by Digital Dude; 10th December 2007 at 07:52.

  31. #31
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Dude View Post
    I'm confused as to which photo is the “first one”. In any event, I really like the top photo (darker) as it is very well balanced with brilliant colors.
    The first one would be on the top, unless you read right to left and from the bottom of the page to the top (Sorry I couldn't resist). I printed the first one (TOP) and it turned out to dark and didn't highlight what the main subject of the image is, IMHO.
    So I covered the image with a solid pattern and then lowered the opacity and painted over the subject with white to bring out what I wanted highlighted. I also cropped out part of the image.
    I printed that second image (BOTTOM) and will frame it and give it to the client.

    That's the beauty of photography. Everyone see the same thing differently.
    Tomato's TomOto's.

  32. #32
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    Thumbs up Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    That’s ok, I knew I was going to get my hand slapped but I simply felt the unedited version was so good that I couldn’t possibly imagine how the PS version was better. The color and definition of the plant and tiles really is quite beautiful and warm, combined with the soft lighting that accentuates the main subject. Still, as you pointed out, it’s all quite subjective.
    Regards,
    Last edited by Digital Dude; 10th December 2007 at 10:27.

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    Smile Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Well. Lots of good info in this thread. My thanks to everyone again (I think) for rekindling my desire for a Leica.

    After a bunch of reading and surfing, I've decided to purchase the M8 and one lens. At this point, the lens choice is likely to be the 28/2 summicron ASPH.

    Whatever urgency I feel strictly from the "I want one" point, is compounded by the looming year end. I have some room in my business budget for some gear and would like to take advantage of whatever tax savings I can. My original intention was to purchase the next iteration of the MAC Pro with the Penryn processor, but that's not likely to show up until January at Macworld. So... what a shame, stuck buying a Leica .

    Of course I'm willing to be talked out of it. Go ahead, take your best shot!

    I do have a question or two though... 1. What is the setup for the filter required to offset the IR problem? 2. Is there any rumor or discussion about a change to the M8 that might be looming? For instance, might there be an M8b somewhere in the MFG pipeline? 3. Any arguments against the 28 I've chosen?

    And to answer your un-asked question, I want a black one. I figure it'll make me seem more mysterious, professional, and maybe even a little dangerous.

  34. #34
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Tim wanna know a store to buy from. LOL

    Trust me no one here is going to talk you out of it.

    The 28 cron is THE lens. i love it and it fits me well . On the IR issue just buy a leica 46mm and your all set. The lens is coded and will read everything perfect.

    Seriously you need a dealer David here a forum member can hook you up with the whole package . He is a Leica authorized dealer in Florida called Dale labs . If somewhere else my friend Sean at Camera west in California plus others as well but this forum can get you all hooked up. many M8 owners and users right here. Plus you have Leica reps on this forum too. So any questions you have there is a answer and a place to get what you need. Your talking to Leica drug dealers here. LOL


    And I'm the ring leader
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  35. #35
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    I'm going to try to talk you out of it.
    If you buy a M8 before you know it you'll have a bag of lenses, Grip base, 1.25x Magnifier, maybe a Luigi case, external viewfinders, a second bag of batteries and SD cards, New tripod with new QR plates & ballhead and to TOP it all OFF a empty bank account and a overdraft on your Credit cards.

    Good luck. You are now started down that Slippery Slope. Down stumble and fall.

  36. #36
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    But Ed he needs a tax break.

    I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooo bad
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  37. #37
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    I should of added a second M8 just incase the first one goes down. God forbid you should ever be without at least one M8 body. At least that is how I look at it.

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    You have chosen the absolute best (except that you didn't choose chrome). I have never heard one bad word about the quality and performance of the 28 cron. It is my most used lens. Don't worry about what will be coming down the pike in the future. The M8 is capable of beautiful photos, so just enjoy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    And to answer your un-asked question, I want a black one. I figure it'll make me seem more mysterious, professional, and maybe even a little dangerous.

    Last edited by Cindy Flood; 10th December 2007 at 15:01.

  39. #39
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Wow, that case is gorgeous, Cindy!

  40. #40
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    You have chosen the absolute best (except that you didn't choose chrome).
    Your leather-wrapped beauty makes a strong case for the chrome, I can see the appeal. It seems to complement my black's "mysterious, professional and dangerous" with a clean, professional and retro-sexy look. Still, at this point in my life, I'm opting for dangerous. Thanks for sharing though!

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Wow, that case is gorgeous, Cindy!
    Thanks, Maggie.

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    Your leather-wrapped beauty makes a strong case for the chrome, I can see the appeal. It seems to complement my black's "mysterious, professional and dangerous" with a clean, professional and retro-sexy look. Still, at this point in my life, I'm opting for dangerous. Thanks for sharing though!
    Actually, I have had black M film bodies, and both are beautiful. I had a hard time deciding myself. You can't make a bad decision by choosing black or chrome.

  42. #42
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    Another very good cheap resource is a subscription to Reid Reviews. I has saved me many times over the cost of the subscription and Sean is a devoted professional user of range finders.
    Thanks John.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  43. #43
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    And that universe seems rather large! Without starting any kind of flaming debate, can anyone provide a from-the-hip-without-excruciating-technical-detail assessment of the perceived qualities of the 3 major lens mfgs (Leica, Zeiss, CV) that fit the M8? At this early stage I'd like to hear some informed generalizations about the products from each--some "conventional wisdom" about the differences between the three.
    I would be extremely cautious about many over-generalizations with these three brands. It's done all the time and the result is usually an inacurate picture of the specific lenses involved. That said, having tested these lenses very extensively for several years now, the following generalizations are, to my mind, often valid.

    The Zeiss lenses tend to have the highest contrast and best flare resistance of the three and can tend to have very high resolution either on center, in the outer zones or in both. In some cases, Zeiss produces the highest resolution RF lens of a given focal length range (18 mm ish, for example). Certain Zeiss RF lenses are exemplary.

    The current Leica lenses tend to be moderately high to high contrast, tend to show very low CA and often show fairly high resolution across the frame. I've yet to run across a Leica lens that was even mediocre; they tend to be excellent across the board.

    The CV lenses can be either high or low contrast (depending on the model chosen). Some show noticeable CA wide open and some show none wide open. In some cases, a CV lens can show equal or better resolution than a Zeiss or Leica lens but sample variability, with some lenses, can be more common. A good sample of a good CV lens model can be an exceptional value, delivering performance that seems almost impossible for its price.

    Again, one really needs to look at specific lenses. The greatest amount of misinformation tends to be circulated about CV lenses because brand pre-conceptions are still powerful. Also, its very important to keep in mind that lenses draw in different ways and this is an important factor in the choosing as well.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean_Reid; 11th December 2007 at 10:54.

  44. #44
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    On the whole Leica versus third party lenses, I think you are better off just getting the Leica lens unless it is a focal length you will not be using much.

    Some people start off with the third party lenses and then the Leica bug hits and they have to have the best, a Leica lens. If you just buy the Leica lens to begin with you avoid the extra expense of the third party lens.

    My suggestion would be to start with a used Leica lens or one of the new Elmarits.

    Robert
    Often times, the Leica lens is not the "best" for a specific photographer even if his or her budget is unlimited. It's an old prejudice and its tenacious but it isn't supported in objective side by side testing.

    I also find the term "third party" often seems prejorative, a subtle implication of lesser quality which is often mythical. On the R-D1, for example, Leica lenses are technically "second party" lenses but I never think of them that way at all.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  45. #45
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    What I wonder is how often people use the CV lenses after getting a Leica lens? I can see it when the CV lens is a 15mm or 21mm and the other Leica lenses are 24mm and up.

    In your case Terry, I bet you will use the 28mm Cron before going to the 35mm CV. In other words, the money spent on the 35mm CV was a waste unless you use it or sell it. The point I was trying to make in the first post is that buying CV or Zeiss lenses just costs you more money rather than saves you money.

    Robert
    I have access to all kinds of lenses from these three companies and I often choose to use CV lenses. Rob, I think you're perpetuating a myth that is not supported in objective testing.

    "The point I was trying to make in the first post is that buying CV or Zeiss lenses just costs you more money rather than saves you money."

    I think that the above is absolutely wrong.

    Tim,

    You're frequently going to run into this kind of strong mythology about Leica lenses. I'd urge you to look carefully at the reviews and form your own opinions. Very few people have done careful testing of these various lenses so often the comments are based on biases and presumptions.

    Rob, nothing personal.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  46. #46
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    I don't know, my 35mm Ultron has a wonderful look, all its own, and I imagine I'd go to it even if I had a Leica lens. Horses for courses, wot?
    Absolutely. As someone who has carefully tested these lenses extensively and for several years I emphatically disagree with some of the statements made here that present Leica lenses as the best and the others as mere "cheap alternatives". It's frustrating to read those kinds of comments when one knows, first hand, that they are misrepresentations.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  47. #47
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    Well. Lots of good info in this thread. My thanks to everyone again (I think) for rekindling my desire for a Leica.

    After a bunch of reading and surfing, I've decided to purchase the M8 and one lens. At this point, the lens choice is likely to be the 28/2 summicron ASPH.

    That's a great choice for a fast 28. In fact, it's my own favorite fast 28. Among the slightly slower 28s, there are a lot of great choices.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  48. #48
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    This reminds me of a saying I heard in the UK:

    "Oxford was never as good as it used to be."

  49. #49
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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Thanks for the recommendation Guy.

    Tim, we can certainly help you out. I have the 28 Cron ASPH in stock right now. I'd be happy to confuse you further with my own advice as well.

    David


    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Tim wanna know a store to buy from. LOL

    Trust me no one here is going to talk you out of it.

    The 28 cron is THE lens. i love it and it fits me well . On the IR issue just buy a leica 46mm and your all set. The lens is coded and will read everything perfect.

    Seriously you need a dealer David here a forum member can hook you up with the whole package . He is a Leica authorized dealer in Florida called Dale labs . If somewhere else my friend Sean at Camera west in California plus others as well but this forum can get you all hooked up. many M8 owners and users right here. Plus you have Leica reps on this forum too. So any questions you have there is a answer and a place to get what you need. Your talking to Leica drug dealers here. LOL


    And I'm the ring leader

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    Re: Hello and Question(s) about the M8

    Sean

    I agree with many if not all of your comments. I use both the CV 35 Nokton and the Leica 35 Lux. There is a type of drawing with the Nokton that I love, particularly for black and white ( which may be just saying that black and white works best for me in bars and at parties LOL). But if I could only have one it would be the Lux. At the same time one of the images in one of these threads (sorry I forget which) was taken at a memorial for our soldiers who died in battle. It was available light indoors and was truly well served by the more contrasty 35 Cron (as it would have with the Zeiss 35). So horses for courses as they say. I have sold my cron but will not sell either of the other 35s.

    As always Sean, thanks for the sage and timely advice. It really helps us to make decisions which include our shooting needs and particularly priorities. It is amazing but in the two + years I have subscibed to Reid Reviews you have had to repeat this mantra over and over. I think (and hope) I finally get it.

    Woody Spedden

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