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Thread: M9?

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    M9?

    I regret selling my M9 earlier as the pictures I took from it are equal to none. As much as I like my X2 I miss having a full frame camera. And so the hunt for a used M9 begins..

    My previous M9 was bought from a friend so I wasn't worried about what I should be careful about but this time around can someone advise about what points I should be most aware of? Most of them that are available on the forums do not have any warranty left and so is it better to get the M-E with a warranty or given how sturdy these cameras are should I just get a M9 without the warranty? The color of the M-E doesn't appeal to me though. Are M9's going to drop further in price? (would like to save some money as the buying and selling has left a big dent in my savings!)

    Is it better to buy from a dealer or the forums? Any advice would be helpful.
    Thanks

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    Re: M9?

    I bought my lightly used M9 w/o warranty on these forums back in Sept. '12 for $4k, and that included some accessories like a half-case, extra battery, thumbs-up, etc. The camera had some slight brassing marks, but looked good, and it was built in 2011, so it isn't that old.

    I haven't had any issues, ""knock on wood,"" so, compared to the M-E, I'm glad I saved $1500 and got a black camera. Who knows, though?? Maybe I just got lucky.

    I'd been wanting to buy an M9 since it came out, and the $4K price point was always my breaking point, because, even if the value drops another $1K in the next year or two, that isn't a ton of money to lose, although I plan on shooting into the ground, anyways.

    It's tough to predict how the M9's value will behave when the M 240 is finally released. The M-E will probably hold the value of the M9 up for a while, I'd imagine. Heck, once M9 and M 240 comparisons start coming out, some may even prefer the M9 for low ISO work, so that could hold the value up, too...or, it could drop like a rock. Who knows??
    Last edited by douglasf13; 20th February 2013 at 12:09.

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I bought my lightly used M9 w/o warranty on these forums back in Sept. '12 for $4k, and that included some accessories like a half-case, extra battery, thumbs-up, etc. The camera had some slight brassing marks, but looked good, and it was built in 2011, so it isn't that old.

    I haven't had any issues, ""knock on wood,"" so, compared to the M-E, I'm glad I saved $1500 and got a black camera. Who knows, though?? Maybe I just got lucky.

    I'd been wanting to buy an M9 since it came out, and the $4K price point was always my breaking pointl, because, even if the value drops another $1K in the next year or two, that isn't a ton of money to lose, although I plan on shooting into the ground, anyways.

    It's tough to predict how the M9's value will behave when the M 240 is finally released. The M-E will probably hold the value of the M9 up for a while, I'd imagine. Heck, once M9 and M 240 comparisons start coming out, some may even prefer the M9 for low ISO work, so that could hold the value up, too...or, it could drop like a rock. Who knows??
    That sounds like you got a nice deal
    How does one find out when the camera was built? Asking Leica from the serial number i imagine?
    I'm looking for the silver one this time

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonshine View Post
    That sounds like you got a nice deal
    How does one find out when the camera was built? Asking Leica from the serial number i imagine?
    I'm looking for the silver one this time
    Yeah, I think I did get a good deal, but, again, it is always a risk to buy used.

    You can look up serials here: M9 - Leica Wiki (English)

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    Re: M9?

    I think prices will stabilize around the $3.5k-4k range depending on condition, maybe M9Ps going for $4.5-5 still.

    Maybe after the M240s come out you will have an initial price drop for folks desperate to sell but I don't see them coming down much further because as the price goes down demand will rise in comparison to a new camera. M8s are still going to go for $1-1.5k and the M9 is still going to be worth a considerable premium over those. As long as MEs are sold the M9/P is going to hold its value too.

    Who knows too...they may rise in price as someone suggests. They can't go much lower though IMHO

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    Re: M9?

    As for the M9... Yeah. I may very well be buried with mine.

    Nothing wrong with buying gear from your fellow members here at GetDPI. Just exercise normal caution and due diligence as when buying anything on the Internet. I've bought and sold countless items online, as I'm sure many others here have as well.

    Buying from a dealer is also an excellent option and often nets you some sort of protection (warranty, return period, etc.).

    Some dealers are even known to be members here and hang out on the buy and sell forum...
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    Re: M9?

    I bought my black M9 in Jan 2012 from Dan Tamarkin at America's Premier Leica Specialist Since 1971
    It was a Leica USA demo camera, went through their recondition/inspection process and sold with a 1 year warranty with an $800 discount.

    I couldn't be happier with the service or with the camera. It has operated flawlessly since the moment I bought it, and I could not tell that it had ever been out of the box, it was so clean and new looking.

    At the time, I considered a gray M9 from a GetDPI forum member and that would saved another $500 or so, but I thought long and hard about it and decided I wanted the black finish. I intend to keep it a long time—might as well have what you really want when you pay these prices for a camera!

    My advice:
    - If a private sale, buy from someone you trust.
    - If a dealer sale, again buy from someone you trust.

    I have heard a lot of stories and gripes about M9 problems online. But of the eight or nine people I know local to me who have them, none of them has had any problems at all, just like me. I don't know what the explanation for that is.

    (The X2 is particularly useful as an adjunct to the M9 for me. It's small and light, great for when I want to carry less, and the sensitivity is such that I can get results in light where the M9 struggles a bit. But if I could only have one of them, there's no question which is the keeper. :-)

    G
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    Re: M9?

    It's your money and you can't put a value on peace of mind. That being said everyone has offered sound advice on buying used or a demo. For me though the warranty is worth it (again peace of mind) with the cracked sensor issue of the past or at least a camera insurance policy.

    As for the M-E, it looks much better in person and if the frameline lever isn't important to you then it's a great deal. It's possible to get them new in the same range as used M9-P's (~$4800-5200) as well as I understand they don't move as fast as dealer's have hoped if M9 stock is available.
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    Re: M9?

    FWIW, and please don't take my word for it, but, according to the sensor cracked sensor thread over on LUF, even those that purchased their M9s used are apparently able to get their sensors repaired free of charge.
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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    FWIW, and please don't take my word for it, but, according to the sensor cracked sensor thread over on LUF, even those that purchased their M9s used are apparently able to get their sensors repaired free of charge.
    Wasn't aware of that. That would be great to know and would make the decision somewhat easier to make.

    I know my first M9 (that I sold used) developed a sensor crack about 9 months after I sold it to another forum member. I offered to help them out since I did register under my name but his insurance took care of the bill that wasn't free (about a $3000 repair or so) in late 2011.
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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Wasn't aware of that. That would be great to know and would make the decision somewhat easier to make.

    I know my first M9 (that I sold used) developed a sensor crack about 9 months after I sold it to another forum member. I offered to help them out since I did register under my name but his insurance took care of the bill that wasn't free (about a $3000 repair or so) in late 2011.
    Yeah, I was surprised to see that Leica repaired an out of warranty, second user camera for free, but don't take my word for it. I don't know any of those forum members personally, so I don't know who to trust. I believe the gentleman with the free repair didn't exactly say that it was purchased second hand.

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Yeah, I was surprised to see that Leica repaired an out of warranty, second user camera for free, but don't take my word for it. I don't know any of those forum members personally, so I don't know who to trust.
    I hear you and I completely agree. Buying is always a risk. Buying used is a larger risk. Buying used from an untrusted person or someone who isn't a "regular" is not an option for me personally especially when there are many trusted dealers on the forum who have always given me fair to great prices.
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    Re: M9?

    .

    (The X2 is particularly useful as an adjunct to the M9 for me. It's small and light, great for when I want to carry less, and the sensitivity is such that I can get results in light where the M9 struggles a bit. But if I could only have one of them, there's no question which is the keeper. :-)

    G[/QUOTE]

    I really like the simplicity of the X2 and it's image quality...have listed it for sale here though, as I can't afford to have both the cameras
    Godfrey, what is the highest ISO you have comfortably used the X2 for? I haven't done any low light shooting on it yet..

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    Re: M9?

    Thanks for all the advice everyone

    At this point i have 2 options; either buy a M9 from a forum member without a warranty or pay $700 more and buy it from the dealer with a full Leica warranty as it was an unregistered camera. The dealer contacted Leica who reassured him that the new buyer will be fully covered. Both cameras are in good shape with just a few scratches here and there. The dealers camera has only 2000 actuations and the forum member's camera has just over 6000. Oh, and I don't know either parties personally.

    Can't decide which option to take.....

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I have heard a lot of stories and gripes about M9 problems online. But of the eight or nine people I know local to me who have them, none of them has had any problems at all, just like me. I don't know what the explanation for that is.
    Explanation - just luck, I'm in the Bay Area too, and my M9 sensor cracked right after the warranty expired. Leica took care of it, whew.

    -robert

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by tele_player View Post
    Explanation - just luck, I'm in the Bay Area too, and my M9 sensor cracked right after the warranty expired. Leica took care of it, whew.

    -robert
    That's always good!

    It seems Leica's after warranty service is pretty good too.

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by tele_player View Post
    Explanation - just luck, I'm in the Bay Area too, and my M9 sensor cracked right after the warranty expired. Leica took care of it, whew.
    I've had little interaction with Leica USA directly to base a judgement on, but working through my usual Leica contacts (Tom Brichta, our district Leica Sales Rep and Dan Tamarkin of Tamarkin.com in Chicago), I've always gotten quick response and attention to any questions I had, parts I wanted, etc.

    So a broken or defective part, to me, is the occasional bad luck. The good part is that the service and support seems to be there to take care of it; that's not luck. ;-)

    G

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    Re: M9?

    Leica did the right thing on the sensors, but I'd feel better if they went a bit further in explicitly controlling the financial risk for owners of out-of-warranty cameras. Sensor, shutter, LCD, processor board - there's things in there that will cost a fortune to fix, and can only be fixed using Leica parts. I feel a bit exposed.

    I suppose that's why I don't drive an exotic car.

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by tele_player View Post
    Leica did the right thing on the sensors, but I'd feel better if they went a bit further in explicitly controlling the financial risk for owners of out-of-warranty cameras. Sensor, shutter, LCD, processor board - there's things in there that will cost a fortune to fix, and can only be fixed using Leica parts. I feel a bit exposed.

    I suppose that's why I don't drive an exotic car.
    I can't imagine this could be different from any other camera. There are a ton of expensive, manufacturer-only parts in every camera—You can't fix an Olympus with a generic or Nikon part. Doesn't have to be exotic. Like most modern cameras, these bits are specific to the brand and model.

    G

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    ....but his insurance took care of the bill that wasn't free (about a $3000 repair or so) in late 2011.
    As Leica are replacing cracked sensors for free (cracked without warning in normal use) this can only be because it was cracked by being dropped.

    Moonshine, I think you could ask if the sensor has been replaced whe buying an M9, and if it has put that camera to the top of your list. I haven't heard of any cracking twice. But cracked sensors are rare in the overall number of M9's sold and the reason we talk about them is because of the internet, not because it has been seen on the TV news.

    I think you could also ask what the shutter count is, the hex number in the 'Unique Image ID' section of the EXIF file, not the file number on the SD card. Shutters are good for upwards of 150,000 actuations, and a lot of hard used M9's have gone well above that without problems.

    And if you are going to a dealers to try an M9 take with you two different brands of SD card and use the camera with each, ideally take a San Disk Extreme as one, to see if you can make the camera mis-behave. Some seem to be sensitive to SD card brand, others aren't, and the head scratching still goes on about why. Try the camera at all distances with a known and trusted lens to check focusing accuracy.

    Other than those small issues I really think you could assume that most M9's for sale in the next few weeks/months, are being sold for genuine reasons because the owner is buying an M240, so there is likely to be far less risk in the gene pool from people off loading because of an undisclosed problem. In this sense a genuine Leica dealer taking trade-in's would be the ideal person to buy from, any good dealer will charge a reasonable market price and give a six month or year warranty and will be happy to turn his stock around quickly.

    Steve
    Last edited by 250swb; 22nd February 2013 at 00:27. Reason: spelling
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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    As Leica are replacing cracked sensors for free (cracked without warning in normal use) this can only be because it was cracked by being dropped.

    Moonshine, I think you could ask if the sensor has been replaced whe buying an M9, and if it has put that camera to the top of your list. I haven't heard of any cracking twice. But cracked sensors are rare in the overall number of M9's sold and the reason we talk about them is because of the internet, not because it has been seen on the TV news.

    I think you could also ask what the shutter count is, the hex number in the 'Unique Image ID' section of the EXIF file, not the file number on the SD card. Shutters are good for upwards of 150,000 actuations, and a lot of hard used M9's have gone well above that without problems.

    And if you are going to a dealers to try an M9 take with you two different brands of SD card and use the camera with each, ideally take a San Disk Extreme as one, to see if you can make the camera mis-behave. Some seem to be sensitive to SD card brand, others aren't, and the head scratching still goes on about why. Try the camera at all distances with a known and trusted lens to check focusing accuracy.

    Other than those small issues I really think you could assume that most M9's for sale in the next few weeks/months, are being sold for genuine reasons because the owner is buying an M240, so there is likely to be far less risk in the gene pool from people off loading because of an undisclosed problem. In this sense a genuine Leica dealer taking trade-in's would be the ideal person to buy from, any good dealer will charge a reasonable market price and give a six month or year warranty and will be happy to turn his stock around quickly.

    Steve
    Thanks for all the tips Steve
    I'm going with a M9P from a fellow forum member! Very excited as i wasn't considering one but it fell in my lap!
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    Re: M9?

    Congrats... You will love it.
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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonshine View Post
    Thanks for all the tips Steve
    I'm going with a M9P from a fellow forum member! Very excited as i wasn't considering one but it fell in my lap!
    Nice! I hope you enjoy using it.

    G
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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonshine View Post
    Thanks for all the tips Steve
    I'm going with a M9P from a fellow forum member! Very excited as i wasn't considering one but it fell in my lap!
    Well done!

    To make you feel even better about your purchase have a look at Sean Reid's review and comparison of the M9, MM, and M. If you aren't subscribed it isn't much to pay, but well worth it, especially to see that the basic image quality of the M9 is pretty well equal to the new M, except at higher ISO's, and then by only 1.5 stops.

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    Well done!

    To make you feel even better about your purchase have a look at Sean Reid's review and comparison of the M9, MM, and M. If you aren't subscribed it isn't much to pay, but well worth it, especially to see that the basic image quality of the M9 is pretty well equal to the new M, except at higher ISO's, and then by only 1.5 stops.

    Steve
    Sorry for the digression ...

    Some of Sean's reviews have been interesting, but I've honestly not found any of them much real use. And his obnoxious insistence on mediocre flash presentation makes them almost unreadable for me. I subscribed for last year and found it an utter waste of $30 due to the misery of the reading experience.

    He should simply wrap up his articles as PDF files and sell them individually for $1-5 apiece. Add encryption if you're paranoid so that only people with a code can use them.

    ... and now back to our regular program. :-)

    G

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    Well done!

    To make you feel even better about your purchase have a look at Sean Reid's review and comparison of the M9, MM, and M. If you aren't subscribed it isn't much to pay, but well worth it, especially to see that the basic image quality of the M9 is pretty well equal to the new M, except at higher ISO's, and then by only 1.5 stops.

    Steve
    Reid Reviews are a great suggestion. I paid for a subscription in the past and it's a great resource for M lens performance reviews in a controlled environment. It helped me make some of my decisions on what to buy or not buy (along with looking at lens rendering on Flickr.) While much of the same information can be found scattered over the internet it's a good resource IMO that saves time.
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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Sorry for the digression ...

    Some of Sean's reviews have been interesting, but I've honestly not found any of them much real use.
    For the rest of us the first 'scientific' comparison between the M9 and the M240 (and MM) has thrown up some surprises that run against many expectations of the new camera. But nobody has to be interested if they don't want to.


    Steve

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    For the rest of us the first 'scientific' comparison between the M9 and the M240 (and MM) has thrown up some surprises that run against many expectations of the new camera. But nobody has to be interested if they don't want to.
    I generally just don't find camera comparisons to be all that useful for me as a photographer. They're interesting for me as geeky tech head ... :-) ... But Sean's reviews present too many obstacles for me to enjoy reading them anyway.

    G

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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I generally just don't find camera comparisons to be all that useful for me as a photographer. They're interesting for me as geeky tech head ... :-) ... But Sean's reviews present too many obstacles for me to enjoy reading them anyway.

    G
    Godfrey, aesthetics of the site (which I wholeheartedly agree is quite primitive) would you say the factual and scientific comparisons of the lens reviews weren't worth the $33?

    I know value is subjective, but in my case (and I'm sure some others) I know the reviews actually saved me money or gave me an objective view of lenses (and maybe camera bodies too) that I was curious about and some that weren't particularly on my radar at times. I think that alone was worth the price of admission and putting up with the archaic site.
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    Re: M9?

    It is just a shame that whenever Sean Reid is mentioned the discussion turns towards his web site, rather than the content of his web site. I'm not in the market for an MM or M (240), but his approach to testing is both analytical yet also exhibits common sense in his conclusions. If I upgrade a digital camera I usually wait and jump a generation, so its good to know my M9 ain't broke yet

    (oh I shouldn't have said that last thing, 'they' will be onto me with 'its not the camera its the photographer' and 'I'm still using the camera my grandfather used and its OK for me', oh no, I'm typing what I'm thinking again, stop it Steve....)
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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Godfrey, aesthetics of the site (which I wholeheartedly agree is quite primitive) would you say the factual and scientific comparisons of the lens reviews weren't worth the $33?

    I know value is subjective, but in my case (and I'm sure some others) I know the reviews actually saved me money or gave me an objective view of lenses (and maybe camera bodies too) that I was curious about and some that weren't particularly on my radar at times. I think that alone was worth the price of admission and putting up with the archaic site.
    Not for me. Getting to the information was so clumsy that I never bothered to look around very much, and even the three or four pieces I tried to read I never really got through in toto. There was one piece he wrote that I really really wanted to read and I went through the aggravation of snapshotting each window and compositing them together into a PDF to make it minimally readable. That's when I said, "enough."

    Sorry, but the topic will come up when Sean Reid's site and subscription is recommended, for me. The only way to see what's there is to pay, so you don't know how crappy it is until you have paid your money. At which point, he assumes that you've plundered his information if you ask for a refund. I find the site useless, but I what I really object to is his attitude towards paying customers. Everyone is a thief looking to rob him, personally.

    G

  32. #32
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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    ... If I upgrade a digital camera I usually wait and jump a generation, so its good to know my M9 ain't broke yet

    (oh I shouldn't have said that last thing, 'they' will be onto me with 'its not the camera its the photographer' and 'I'm still using the camera my grandfather used and its OK for me', oh no, I'm typing what I'm thinking again, stop it Steve....)
    LOL! ;-)

    I haven't had much time to work my photography of late, other stuff has really gotten in the way, but I'm heading off to the UK for three weeks at the end of March on holiday. I'll bring my M9, two-three lenses, and a Balda Baldix 6x6 folder. Might as well head back to the future...

    Godfrey

  33. #33
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    Re: M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Not for me. Getting to the information was so clumsy that I never bothered to look around very much, and even the three or four pieces I tried to read I never really got through in toto. There was one piece he wrote that I really really wanted to read and I went through the aggravation of snapshotting each window and compositing them together into a PDF to make it minimally readable. That's when I said, "enough."

    Sorry, but the topic will come up when Sean Reid's site and subscription is recommended, for me. The only way to see what's there is to pay, so you don't know how crappy it is until you have paid your money. At which point, he assumes that you've plundered his information if you ask for a refund. I find the site useless, but I what I really object to is his attitude towards paying customers. Everyone is a thief looking to rob him, personally.

    G
    Fair enough. Oh and BTW I hope you didn't take my question as confrontational. I know tone, sarcasm, etc. isn't necessarily translated through a keyboard. I'm all about objectivity though and you can't have objectivity without opposing thought.

    As for me I agree that the flash site is primitive but I found the reviews to be informative overall. I don't agree with EVERYTHING he likes/ dislikes at time but his site did open up my eyes to the 90 Summicron Pre-AA that I bought instead of going the 90AA or Zeiss 85/2 route. That alone "saved" me about $2500 or so at the time (that I eventually put into a 24 Elmar that he rated highly along with other reviews.)
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

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    Re: M9?

    I got my M8 just a little over two years ago, for $3000, a year after the M9 was released. It was my first digital M and boy, it was good. Never need any maintenance, only the occasional sensor clean that you have to do anyway.

    Most Leica owners are aware of the resale value and want to keep their gears in good working order. The Paypal system actually help deter untruthful cases, as Paypal tends to favor the buyer in case of conflicts. My rule of thumb is try it out vigorously in the first 3 days. If I have any dissatisfaction with it, I will send an email to the sell, asking for a partial or total refund.

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