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Thread: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

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    Member nightfire's Avatar
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    From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    Although I've been very happy with my M9 for landscape photography, I might have to move back to an autofocus DSLR due to eyesight issues.

    Which DSLR option would come closest to the M9 in image quality in your opinion? Right now, I'm thinking about the Canon 5D Mk2 with a 24-105/4L zoom, since this would correspond to my current M lens range (24/35/50/90). I've read some good reviews of the 24-105, but also some less-than-satisfied accounts as well, and I'm concerned about mushy results, especially considering that the Canon has an AA filter while the M9 has none.

    Therefore, I'd welcome some lens+body recommendations and feedback from M9 folks who have also bought a DSLR with image quality comparable to their M9 in mind!

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    You might also want to look at the Sony A900. There's an active thread on the sony subforum with lots of user comparisons with other DSLR cameras.

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    Re: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    A900 + ZA 24-70.

    The ZA 24, 85 and 135 are also reputed to be great, though they were outside the focal lengths I focus on and I have not used them.

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    Re: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    Leica S2, 35, 70 and 180

    That is the no compromise answer, now for the practical answer. The Sony A900 has shown to be a great camera, but the lenses from them have shown variances in quality. So have the Canons and Nikons but this is just a product of mass production and internal QC tolerances. So this is where a good old fashioned "bricks and mortar" store relationship comes in mighty handy. If you go to your local store that carries it you can at least try the lens out to make sure that it is functioning correctly before you leave.

    Al
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Re: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    Personally, of the major players, I like Olympus lenses the most. Yeah yeah ... smaller sensor, only 12 Mpixel, blahdy blah. ]'-)

    An Olympus E-5 with a modest lens kit of the Olympus ZD 14-35/2 and 50/2 Macro is a superb and practical camera with two of the best zoom lenses ever made for SLRs. That just about covers your range from 24 to 90 (equivalent focal lengths would be 28 to 100mm) in two lenses, all f/2 and all superb imaging. By comparison to the price of a Leica M9 body only, it's a cheap kit (all up price approximately $4300). And the image quality is nothing short of excellent. Go with three lenses ... 11-22/2.8.3.5, Summilux 25/1.4, 50/2 Macro ... and the price drops by a little and nets 20mm to 100mm focal length range.

    That's what I have, and I like it very much indeed. (Of course, I keep contemplating going the other direction ... selling everything I own and buying an M9 and two lenses ... but such is the perversity of the gearheaded... :-)

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    Re: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    I can understand your rationale. Did you try magnifiers and diopter correction on the M9?

    If you can bear to use it (I can't) the Canon 5D/5D Mark II is quite capable. The ancient 1Ds Mark III is still a good shooter (ancient in that we've been waiting for a Mark IV for years). I can't speak of other platforms (e.g. Nikon, etc.).

    If landscapes are your thing, what about moving up the food chain to MF? New entry-level kits are at $10k+ now, or you could piece together a Hassy V (or similar) system for less, perhaps $5-8k. I'm currently shooting a (essentially) 503CWD and for landscapes - it's *incredible* as far as details and color. Think of the M9 as far as quality and look, the benefits of an SLR (magnifiers, matte screen, "system camera" and so on).

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    Re: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    If I were to return to dslr land, I would ponder a Nikon D700. Great high iso performance and solid b&w rendering. That and a few primes.

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    Re: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    Disposable contact lenses is the answer.
    It was a revelation when I found them. Rangefinders with glasses is not much fun.
    You can use a different strength in each eye - fantastic (not just for photography)

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    The NEX's are having a pretty interesting firmware update the 20th this month: focusing manual lenses, the in-focus areas light up in red on the screen.

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    Member David Duffin's Avatar
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    Re: From M9 to DSLR: Which one to buy?

    Since you're accustomed to the M9 Kodak sensor and Leica lenses, you may not be happy with Sony, Canon, or Nikon. I've found the S2 with its diopter adjustment and optional split-image focusing groundglass to be easier to focus manually than the M9. The autofocus works well, too.

    Perhaps your dealer will lend you a demo S2 for a weekend. You may find as I did that the 120mm Macro Summarit-S alone is worth the price of admission...

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