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Thread: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

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    Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Hi all,

    I really enjoy the group of guys on this forum, and I value very much your inputs to my situtation.

    I have an used M8 for about a year, mainly I use it for family pictures, travel, and odd times street photography. The lenses that I have are zm 50mm Planar and zm 35mm f2.

    I really like the look of 50mm lux ASPH and its low light ability for my M8, have been saving money to finance it and planning to sell off the 2 Zeiss lenses. However, I am struggling with the option of a) should I buy the M9 now (which I like, FF and better files) and keep the Zeiss lenses, or b) as stated above, buy the lux and use it on M8.

    Please give me some insight suggestions ? Thanks.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Your lenses will only reach their full potential on a FF body, so the M9 is the obvious choice IMHO.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    I have owned the M8 and currently own the M9.
    There is a dramatic upgrade in image quality and usability from the M8 to M9. So if you think the M8 is good (it is!) then you are going to LOVE the M9.
    Remember it is almost twice the resolution, and still has much less and more film grained noise. at comparable ISO. With Lightroom 4 and its noise reduction, lens and camera profiles, the M9 produces phenomenal image quality, even compared to current high end japanese cameras.

    However, you will only experience a very slight image quality upgrade if you get the optics.
    Myself I am pondering the upgrade from 50 summicron to 50 summilux, and the upgrade will cost me perhaps $3000 at least, while bringing perhaps a 5% image quality upgrade. (save for the ability to use F1.4).

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    I don't like the FOV of a 50mm lens on the M8--and, in particular, was not enthralled by the Lux 50 asph. (Yes, I'm in the minority in the latter regard.) Thus, I'd go for a FF body. But which one? M9, ME, MM, or M? I have been pondering this lately!

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    I'd go with the M9 body over the new lens, or sit back and think about it until the new M is released and then make a decision. Because surely if you can't decide easily, it's better not to spend the money, just keep accumulating savings, until you really know what it is you want.

    Maybe by then it will be easier to just buy both. :-)

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    The M9 improves on the high-ISO of the M8 by about 1.5 stops. No problem using the M9 at ISO 2500, so the F2 lens will give better low-light performance on the M9 as the F1.4 lens does on the M8. Prices of lightly used M9s have fallen, and the new M-E is already available.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Wait for the M. Enjoy what you have in the meantime.

    The M9 prices have not hit the bottom,yet.
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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    The M8 is good, but the M9 is better. The Zeiss lenses are great on either.

    That said, I've slowly been moving to a more Leica-centric lens selection.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Thanks all for your inputs. It makes more sense to me now to buy the M9, which by the time next year, the price will come down more, hence, more saving to me.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    If you like the 50mm FOV on the M8, perhaps a 75mm lens on the M9 might be a better choice? The 50mm would likely be more versatile on the M9, of course, but it might be worth considering. I really like the 50mm on M8, and have invested in a 75 lux for when I can afford a M9 after selling lots of gear. The 75 is a fantastic "portrait lens" on the M8 for sure, but it is a bit long in many situations, so the 50 gets more usage.
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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    The following is what I would do if I were you... plan to get BOTH But which one to get first? Since I don't mind buying gear used, I'd get the lens first while there is a lull in Leica lens resale value now. Then I'd wait to save up for a second hand M9 or M9P and let the price fall even more.

    Personally, I've been loading up on lenses recently because I expect lens resale prices to rise again after M10's release.
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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    I own the M9 and various 50mm lenses, including the 50/2.5 and the 50/1.4asph.
    I think the Summilux is a fine lens - but I also believe the 50/2.5 is great as well (and your 50 Zeiss also). If I had to reduce my gear arsenal I could be very happy with just some Summarits (and I bet also with some of the nice Zeiss glass). The Summiluxes are nice to have but I dont find it worlds apart.
    If you get a larger sensor M9 you have better high ISO so f1.4 is not needed asmuch as on a M8.
    If I were you and had to choose I would choose the M9 which you also can get for good used price and keep your lenses.
    Or if you want 75mm sell the 50 Zeiss and get a 75 Summarit instead.
    Cheers, Tom

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    I'd get the M9. I do believe that used M9 prices are stabilizing around the $4K US mark for a used copy in good condition. I've been tracking prices for several months, and I just recently bought in at $4k even, because it seems that the new M-E will hold up M9 prices for a while. I wouldn't be surprised if used M9 prices actually creep up a little bit, since it is a slightly better camera than the new M-E. Who knows???

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Yep; used M9s are holding at about $4k. M-E is about $1,500 more (it has less features but includes a warranty).

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Get the lens. It has much longer term value.

    There is a dramatic upgrade in image quality
    I disagree. In fact, I think pixel for pixel I prefer the look of my old M8 files (up to ISO 640). There is a noticeable extra sharpness in the finest detail and, for some odd reason (bearing in mind both sensors have the same pixel pitch), the M8 files show fewer colour and luminance artifacts (moire, etc.). When I look at some of my older files shot in decent light using an M8 and 35 Summicron (neither of which do I now own), the sharpness and fine detail is nothing short of astonishing.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    ^ Agreed on both counts.

    Bodies come and go, but good glass is forever.

    As for the M8, I'd have to agree. There's "something extra" there. One thing that may account for it is the thinner IR filter. Granted, the one in the M9 isn't *that* much thicker, but it is. And as we know, for better or worse, Leica wanted to minimize it as much as possible (along with removing the AA filter) to have the highest IQ possible. Otherwise I find the two sensors to be very, very similar (colors, saturation, feel, etc.).

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    One thing that may account for it is the thinner IR filter.
    Yes, I think that that is definitely a factor. Leica went with a very thin IR filter in the M8 because they felt it resulted in increased sharpness. It stands to reason then that, if you make the filter a bit thicker, you will presumably lose a little sharpness. It's not a big deal, I've been very happy with my M9 cameras but, I was looking only yesterday at some 'old' M8 files and was struck by just how sharp the finer detail can really be.

    Incidentally, I also think that the different Bayer colour arrangement Leica have stated that they implemented on the M9 hasn't been a total success in that IMO it makes the M9 noticeably more susceptible to moire and other similar nasties.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Leica made the IR filter thinner on the M8 to combat astigmatism, because they needed better performance with oblique light rays at the edges of the sensor, and they apparently went a little too thin. There shouldn't be a difference in sharpness from this, at least at the center of the frame, especially if you're putting an IR filter on the front of the lens, anyways. Either way, at the output level, you're still going to get more resolution from the M9, so it's kind of a moot point.

    Interesting about the different color filters. I've been under the impression that the M8 and M9 have the same color filter type. Are there any links that discuss this?

    Always choosing a lens over a camera body was a more logical decision when we all shot film, since the film and IQ likely didn't change, regardless of the camera body that we used, but, now that our digital "film" is tied to the camera body, that decision is a little more nuanced these days. I'd certainly rather have my M9 and a 50 Summicron than a 50 Summilux on my NEX-7, and I'd also rather have my M9 and a 50 Summicron over an M8 and a 50 Summilux.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Well that's just it. The resolution is the same. The sensor in the M9 is just bigger - giving you more pixels.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Well that's just it. The resolution is the same. The sensor in the M9 is just bigger - giving you more pixels.
    I think it's safer to say the resolution per area is about the same, outside of the slight difference that we've been discussing, but the total resolution of the M9 is greater.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    The resolution of the M9 is 29% greater than the M8's, using the formula square root of the difference in sensor size (in megapixels).

    On topic: I bought an M9 (after owning a couple of M8's) before I began to move into Leica lenses from the ZM's. I suggest to buy what makes sense to buy first. Glass, if you think the 50 asph is for you. M9, if you think you'll benefit from its improvements over the M8 more than you'll enjoy the 50 asph. Looking back, I think I'd actually buy the lens first because the 50 asph is really really good for much of what I shoot, which includes dark clubs etc.

    I have made a few prints of equal size and dpi from both cameras (up to 16x20), of the same scenes shot under similar light with the same lens. The differences are much less than I expected. Slightly better micro detail and native color from the M8, slightly better shadow detail and tonal range from the M9, but nothing that set me confident that I'd done well to sell my M8 and buy the M9 on the strength of imaging potential alone.

    There are reasons to buy an M9, like manual lens correction and full frame benefits, but I don't think image quality is one of them, unless you make really large prints or shoot above iso 1,000 a lot of the time.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    That's interesting. Anything that I've read, from forum members to DXO Mark, says that M9 has about a stop advantage over the M8 in noise at all ISOs, when output to the same size. I wonder if the raw converter has something to do with it?

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    ........
    I wouldn't be surprised if used M9 prices actually creep up a little bit, since it is a slightly better camera than the new M-E. Who knows???
    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Yep; used M9s are holding at about $4k. M-E is about $1,500 more (it has less features but includes a warranty).
    Tell me more, please!!

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyan View Post
    Tell me more, please!!
    The new M-E model is an M9 minus the USB port (never used it) and minus the viewfinder frameline manual selector lever (perhaps I've used it two or three times, to figure out whether the 35mm frame lines are a better fit than the 50mm frame lines for my 40mm lenses ... the 35s are better for my eyesight).

    The M-E is available in a bluish "anthracite" gray color with silver control trim. The M9 was available in black or steel gray. Mine is black, which I prefer, but frankly once I saw a good photo of the M-E, I was impressed that it looked very nice.

    If you want an M9, buy one now, new, while there are still a few available in the distribution channel, or look for one used whenever. If you want a new M9, within a short period of time you'll want to buy an M-E because it is all that will be available new.
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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Hello Godfrey.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated sir.

    I was, however, interested in the comments made by two responders that the M9 is a 'slightly better' camera than the M-E. I wanted to know how and why?

    Then there was a comment to the effect that the M-E has slightly ' less features'. Which ones? ( You did point them out ).

    Would it be reasonable, then, to suggest that a M9-P is a better camera than the M9. And that the M9 has ' slightly less features'?

    I could be wrong here, but to the best of my knowledge the M-E is no less a camera than the M9/P. Different cosmetics (minus the usb port, and the manual frameline selector ). And a big plus is the warranty. Besides the fact that the M9/P will no more be produced after the M becomes available.

    I would hazard a guess and say that an M-E would not in anyway reduce my photo making ability/inabilty ( crap as it is ) because the M-E lacks certain functionality available in the M9/P.

    But then again, some would maintain that an M-E is just a wannabe Leica!
    Not the ' real' thing.




    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    The new M-E model is an M9 minus the USB port (never used it) and minus the viewfinder frameline manual selector lever (perhaps I've used it two or three times, to figure out whether the 35mm frame lines are a better fit than the 50mm frame lines for my 40mm lenses ... the 35s are better for my eyesight).

    The M-E is available in a bluish "anthracite" gray color with silver control trim. The M9 was available in black or steel gray. Mine is black, which I prefer, but frankly once I saw a good photo of the M-E, I was impressed that it looked very nice.

    If you want an M9, buy one now, new, while there are still a few available in the distribution channel, or look for one used whenever. If you want a new M9, within a short period of time you'll want to buy an M-E because it is all that will be available new.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    and they apparently went a little too thin. There shouldn't be a difference in sharpness from this, at least at the center of the frame, especially if you're putting an IR filter on the front of the lens, anyways.
    There is a sharpness difference though. Not an important one but it is there (and that is with a lens IR filter in place).


    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Interesting about the different color filters. I've been under the impression that the M8 and M9 have the same color filter type. Are there any links that discuss this?
    It was well reported at the time of the M9 launch and I think it is referenced in the 'Cuba' brochure that accompanied the launch. I'll check to see if I can link to something.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Interesting about the different color filters.
    Douglas, a quick bit of research throws up this reference at dpreview:

    "A stop improvement in noise (ISO 1250 M9 = ISO 640 M8) - this comes from a range of significant re-engineering efforts - the sensor is effectively a scaled up version of that found in the M8 (the photosite architecture and pitch remain the same) but it has a different CFA dye to improve red sensitivity, the output stage has been improved, the signal paths have been shortened (new PCB design), two processors are now used for improved JPEG quality (and speed) and the firmware was written from scratch with improved noise reduction."

    I'm pretty sure it was referenced in the brochure and it was certainly commented on at the time by pundits and reviewers.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
    There are reasons to buy an M9, like manual lens correction and full frame benefits, but I don't think image quality is one of them, unless you make really large prints or shoot above iso 1,000 a lot of the time.
    Yes. I often ask myself how much have I really gained in recent years by going from M8 to M9 but there are certainly features of the M9 that I would definitely miss if I went back to the M8. The full frame for sure and, for me, the 'soft' release mode is a major difference – almost worth the price of admission in itself.
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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Rayyan - As Godfrey pointed out, the "less features" on the M-E over the M9 are the USB port and frame preview lever.

    As for the M9, it's clearly a better camera in general than the M8. Not just in imaging (save for perhaps the sharpness Wattsy and I were discussing) but especially in overall ergonomics. The M9 is more refined. But that doesn't mean the M8 stinks in any way. It's still a great camera. One just needs to pay heed to the "quirks" - such as the UV/IR filters.

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    Re: Available fund for M9 or 50mm lux ASPH ?

    Quote Originally Posted by wattsy View Post
    Douglas, a quick bit of research throws up this reference at dpreview:

    "A stop improvement in noise (ISO 1250 M9 = ISO 640 M8) - this comes from a range of significant re-engineering efforts - the sensor is effectively a scaled up version of that found in the M8 (the photosite architecture and pitch remain the same) but it has a different CFA dye to improve red sensitivity, the output stage has been improved, the signal paths have been shortened (new PCB design), two processors are now used for improved JPEG quality (and speed) and the firmware was written from scratch with improved noise reduction."

    I'm pretty sure it was referenced in the brochure and it was certainly commented on at the time by pundits and reviewers.
    Thanks!

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