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Thread: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

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    Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    I have my very lightly used M6 and 3 lenses. I have not paid much attention to digital Leicas. I'm itching to try a used M8. My question is what should I expect from it? I hear there are IR issues and I need IR/UV cut filters on my lenses. I had this problem with D2H so am not too encouraged. I'm told I need to spend money getting my pre-digital lenses coded for EXIF to work. What else should I be aware of?

    Finally, my concern is whether it is worth the exercise?

    I still have my Canons, P30+, D2X etc and want a smallish camera to use my M lenses with. Is it really wise?

    Thanks for any words of advise.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    The M8 is the best digital camera I have ever had the privilege to own. Not for its AF, not for its ISO 6400, not for its matrix metering or even its 8FPS. It has none of that but the one thing it does have is amazing IQ that comes somewhat close to a MF "look" with the right lenses.

    I wouldn't trade my M8 for three D3x bodies. It keeps me going and I really never get tired of it. It has stopped my camera GAS as I want nothing else.

    Its size, build, ergonomics and manual nature are all features I love. Be careful buying used though as some M8's have been used, abused and many are out of alignment. if you buy used, make sure it is from a reputable source.

    Also, yes you will need IR filters for your lenses if you want to take advantage of the great M8 color. Also, you will only need to code the lenses if they are 35mm or wider. You can also buy an "M-Coder" kit and do a DYI job with marker.

    I love my M8.2!
    Leica M8, M9 & Lens Reviews!
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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Hi Steve,

    How are you? You were among one of the earliest D2H owners weren't you? Is the IR leak as bad with skin tones? How much better is the 8.2 over M8? I'm really a noob with digital leicas.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Hey Henry! Yes I had a D2h and D2hs and loved them but really the D2hs was the one I really adored. With the M8, all you need are the one time IR filters for each lens. Leica gives two free with a new M8, or you can buy them at any Leica dealer such as B&H, etc.

    Without the filter any black fabrics wil be magenta, and gree foilage will be a bit off looking color wise. Skin tones are fine. In my 90 cron review at my site I shot all of the images there without an IR filter. It is only an issue with black fabrics and green foliage.

    I have IR filters for all of my lenses as I feel they are absolutely required.

    The 8.2 differences are the new shutter, LCD glass, vulanite covering vs the old sharkskin type and new, more accurate framelines. the M8.2 is quieter than the M8 but both use the same sensor and electronics so the IQ is the same.
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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Thanks again Steve.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    I don't agree it's only black fabrics and green foliage which cause the IR problem.

    Anything which emits IR - invisible to the naked eye - is now going to be visible to the M8 without an IR filter; further, that IR image plane comes to a focus at a fractionally different point to the visible light image and reduces IQ by applying a haze to the image.

    As for skin tones, depends on the subject, but I've seen some pretty vile skin tones without IR filters.

    Bottom line is: add a filter onto the front of the lens no matter what the focal length is, take if off if shooting at night with light sources in the frame (due to stray reflections) and code the lens if it's 35mm or wider.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Goh View Post
    I have my very lightly used M6 and 3 lenses. I have not paid much attention to digital Leicas. I'm itching to try a used M8. My question is what should I expect from it? I hear there are IR issues and I need IR/UV cut filters on my lenses. I had this problem with D2H so am not too encouraged. I'm told I need to spend money getting my pre-digital lenses coded for EXIF to work. What else should I be aware of?

    Finally, my concern is whether it is worth the exercise?

    I still have my Canons, P30+, D2X etc and want a smallish camera to use my M lenses with. Is it really wise?

    Thanks for any words of advise.
    Just get it and enjoy.

    It fulfills the M shooting experience, and there have been so many software plug-ins developed to date (I use a bunch of Light Room user presets), or profiles if you use C1, that help mitigate the initial issues. The IQ is still excellent and holds its own against gear with far better spec's on paper.

    I use a pair of the original M8s to shoot weddings along side a DSLR. Irakly Shanidze uses an original M8 almost exclusively. Take a look at his kick a$$ stuff.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Goh View Post
    Thanks again Steve.
    Hi Henry
    as Steve says . . .and Mark and Marc. Go for it.

    But the simplest thing with respect to IR filters is to just put them on all the lenses, that way you don't need to change settings when you change lenses.

    It's also worth coding all your lenses - you can either get leica to do it 'properly' or use one of the kits which are on the market.

    Live is much simpler if you do this and then you can simply stop thinking about IR issues.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    I was A Canon Shooter with all the big L lens, small lens and also loved it, and after I tried the Leica M8. I am sold on the Leica M8, but it is not for every one. I like hand focusing and manual F stop and shutter speed. This is real photography, not let the camera do all the work.
    IMHO Rick
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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Hi Henry,

    Go for it!

    I also had a M6 and two leica lenses. In 2003 I started flirting with digital and soon I put film in the past. I loved digital imaging. My biggest regret was the loss of my Leica system.

    I knew that someday Leica would come out with a digital M. They did and I was euphoric, unfortunately when they did I had just purchased a canon 5D, so my pocketbook prevented a purchase.

    Finally this last April I bought Jack Flesher's M8 and it had the shutter and frame line upgrade. It is practically an M8.2.

    My thoughts, it took a little playing around to get comfortable because I had become rusty. This camera requires more from the man, the camera doesn't do it for you it's manual. It doesn't take long. I feel that I'm more involved in the experience. I don't zoom, I move. It requires some fore thought for the composition and the exposure. I'm embarrassed to say, but I was relying so much on the camera's automation that I wasn't always aware of the exposure settings, I just let the camera do it. I felt like some of my photographer skills had atrophied. Not anymore, I'm back in the loop.

    The image quality is outstanding given the right basic photographic technique.

    As with Nike's motto Just Do It! You won't regret it.

    Gary P

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Thanks Gary.

    In my photographic life, I have been in and out of Leica 3 times already. Each time I sold off everything only to buy back half a dozen years later. With my M6 however, I just left the system in my cabinet so was thinking of buying a body to use the lenses. I guess I have to go look seriously.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    I DO not know which lenses but when I got my 75 lux 6 bit coded leica fixed the focusing on it for m8 precision so make sure you get them all done by leica or John Milch. If milch does the 6 bit coding send your lens to Don Goldberg for focus adjustment.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    The IR issue should not discourage anyone from buying a M8. The IR sensitivity is a "feature" that allows me to take hand-held IR photos of people in motion. I miss it when I use another camera.

    The image quality for anyone who owns Leica glass makes the M8 a no-brainer considering the comparatively modest price that pristine examples can be had for. The image quality is something that I didn't fully appreciate until I started printing at fairly large sizes.

    Finally, the M8 is the simplest and easiest to use digital camera I've ever had.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    I had an M8 for a year and recently traded it for a D700 (due to the nature of my work and my lack of cash). I deeply long to return to the fold, but I have to save up to do so. As has been said before, the M8 is real photography, where the shot is made/broken based on the skill of the photog, not the skill of the algorithm programmer.
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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by marknorton View Post
    I don't agree it's only black fabrics and green foliage which cause the IR problem.

    Anything which emits IR - invisible to the naked eye - is now going to be visible to the M8 without an IR filter; further, that IR image plane comes to a focus at a fractionally different point to the visible light image and reduces IQ by applying a haze to the image.

    As for skin tones, depends on the subject, but I've seen some pretty vile skin tones without IR filters.

    Bottom line is: add a filter onto the front of the lens no matter what the focal length is, take if off if shooting at night with light sources in the frame (due to stray reflections) and code the lens if it's 35mm or wider.
    Completely agree did enough testing on this for sure it effects all colors of the visible spectrum. Use IR filters always unless trying to do some IR work. I strongly suggest using Leica IR filters as well since the firmware is tuned to Leica's filters especially in the wide angles going from 28mm and wider. I could go into this whole technically reasons for this but just trust me I was a beta tester on the M8 after it came out and just use the leica filters on wider than 28mm and frankly I would use them on all your lenses. The M8 is a great little camera with excellent results but it has it's limitations and if you can deal with them than many years of joy and Henry a perfect compliment to your Phase system. They both use C1 to there fullest advantage and the profiles in C1 for the M8 are the best I have seen and the noise is much better as well. I loved the M8 but i could not afford both systems so I had to sell it for the Phase system which is my principle system but even today i would still like to have a M8.
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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Go for it, this camera can easily make beautiful A1 (36" x24") prints or larger. I've been selling prints shot with the M8 (now 8.2), only wish the write could be a little bit faster, in fact the original M8 seem a little quicker.

    Lots of people is concentrating on the size of the pixels and forgotten the most important thing is the end result of the file. I still use my older 6 year old Epson RD1 (6mp) and print up to similar size prints as the M8 with the aid of Fractal Print Pro for up sizing.

    The usability and quality from the M8 should last a lifetime or tile camera is no longer repairable. I still find 10mp or even a good quality 6mp (RD1 for example) is already given me better quality than film.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    As a long time Leica M user, I am considering buying a used Leica M8. With the prices of used M8's going for around $2500, I am thinking about getting a used M8 to compliment my Nikon D300. After reading forums, like fredmiranda.com, about the overall disappointments with the M8 & M8.2, I am having 2nd thoughts. I have a chance to get a mint M8 (around 3K actuations) with a mint Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 lens for around $3K. Is this a good buy? Can I equal or exceed the image quality of my Nikon D300 with the M8 & CZ 50mm lens? Thanks!

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    The M8 can produce amazing images and even Voigtlander glass can out-resolve most Nikkor lenses. The M8 has to be learned. The training wheels on it are very small. Pretty much the photographer makes or breaks the image. I am in the process of saving up to get an M8 again. If I'm lucky, I'll get an upgraded one or an M8.2.





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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by rrobinson54 View Post
    As a long time Leica M user, I am considering buying a used Leica M8. With the prices of used M8's going for around $2500, I am thinking about getting a used M8 to compliment my Nikon D300. After reading forums, like fredmiranda.com, about the overall disappointments with the M8 & M8.2, I am having 2nd thoughts. I have a chance to get a mint M8 (around 3K actuations) with a mint Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 lens for around $3K. Is this a good buy? Can I equal or exceed the image quality of my Nikon D300 with the M8 & CZ 50mm lens? Thanks!
    As a "long time M user" the M8 should be a no brainer choice to continue that experience into the digital age.

    Especially if you already have M lenses ... just go for it.

    The image quality is excellent ... I use a pair of original M8s at weddings along side a Sony A900 and Ziess lenses and Nikon D3X with some of the newer nano coated optics ... and the little M8 can run with those big dogs much of the time. IMO ISO 640 is the sweet spot for this camera and I rarely take it off that setting.

    It's value is that it is a rangefinder, not that it can or cannot compete with an automatic, AF DSLR.

    Things to check ... make sure the camera focuses accurately. Be aware that the framing isn't as accurate as with the film Ms you used, or the new M8.2. I personally couldn't justify the price difference between my original M8 and the new ones especially since the sensor and firmware are the same. The new one frames more accurately has a harder LCD cover, and is quieter at the expense of losing the 1/8000th top shutter speed ... all of which doesn't make the IQ any better than the original M8.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    I bought a new one 3 weeks ago for 2/3 of the retail price here in the UK and am having a whale of a time with it. These pics here are from outings in the last two weeks. Great fun for me.

    I've been reluctant to buy a used on and can't see the extra money for an M8.2 turning into better pictures for me. Having said that, I'd welcome the new features as I believe they're all enhancements, it's just the cost.

    I bought it in full knowledge that the next version could be announced in a matter of a few weeks (as they've stopped building M8.2's), or 12 months, however I think the M8 and the next version will work well together. If it's FF, then it'll be dedicated to my 24mm.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    can someone please tell me what IR/CUT filters to buy for a new (to me M8)? will only leica ones work or do the B+W ones do fine? i am not doing any IR work, just looking to avoid any of the IR issues i read about.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    I have used both with great success.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    I find even for b&w the cut filter improves image quality... Buy one and use the filters...

    Oh, don't waste time with in camera b&w do it in post...

    "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: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    I'd say be wary of how we interchange the M8 [original], M8 upgrade, and M8.2 in discussions and recommendations - be clear in your own mind their differences and your needs.

    I have an original M8, I can't afford to upgrade it [as much as I would love to], and think of it as Leica's partial cock-up - an M8-lite. The close distant frame-line settings, absurdly noisy un-Leica like shutter sound, and it's crappy shutter release feel [despite a waste of time holiday in Solms for a fix] irritate me daily and effect the completeness of my working relationship with my [otherwise] camera of choice. For some, these M8 original 'quirks' are not an issue, but for others it was/is; I'm in the latter group and you need to be clear whether you would be too if considering an 'original'.

    I'm more critical of the M8 line than most, it's needed design improvements are long overdue, but despite that it remains my camera of choice.

    Good luck .

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by drazin View Post
    can someone please tell me what IR/CUT filters to buy for a new (to me M8)? will only leica ones work or do the B+W ones do fine? i am not doing any IR work, just looking to avoid any of the IR issues i read about.
    There's quite a lot of stuff about this on the web.

    I'd say get the Leica ones . . . except for the CV 15 heliar, in which case the stronger B+W one seems to work better when it's coded as a 16mm WATE.

    I'm sure the B+W ones aren't too bad, but the are stronger, and especially for wider angle lenses this may mean some colour change out at the corner on coded lenses with IR set to ON.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    i do not have any coded lenses. i have a 35mm summicron v4 (which i think is 39mm filter size) a 50mm summilux v2 (not sure what filter size, does anyone know?) and a VC Nokton 50mm 1.1 (58mm filter size)

    I am having trouble figuring out which one is which. (dont want to buy the wrong one)

    can someone do me a favor and post a link to the right LINE of filters to choose from?

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    With the lenses listed you can choose between any of the UV/IR filters from Leica, B+W or Heliopan. Specifically, if you're looking at B+W then you want the B+W 486 UV/IR filters. Personally, I ended up putting on Leica branded UV/IR filters just for the sake of mind of not having to doubt with compatibility but really it's only on wider than 28mm where Leica's formulation makes any difference (it's matched better to the in camera correction).

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    B+W 486 UV/IR filters. thanks alot for the info Graham! i saw those but the "product image" showed only black and white so it was confusing to me.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Did you get that M8 yet Henry? ;>) best...Peter

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Hi Peter,

    No did not find anything nice.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Henry-I have 2 M8s. I am considering selling my black one, and if I do I'd like to package it with the 28 cron that lives on it. It's in great shape, lens is mint. PM me if you might be interested. I'm traveling but will be cyber-connected. However I couldn't ship the camera till I'm back, the first week in September. best....Peter

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    Question Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Can't make up my mind either.

    I have the M8, it is still in warranty but has suffered some water damage near the powerswitch and has some strange behavers when in use.
    --TAKE CARE OF SNOWFLAKES AROUND YOUR POWER/RELEASE SWITCH!!!--

    Since it is costley to repair, (no warranty for waterdamage), Solms made an offer to on the M8.2 with is about €720 less than normal.

    -Should I go for it?
    -Should I save up for the magical dat og 09/09/09???
    Enjoy living, live to enjoy

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolo View Post
    I bought a new one 3 weeks ago for 2/3 of the retail price here in the UK and am having a whale of a time with it. These pics here are from outings in the last two weeks. Great fun for me.

    I've been reluctant to buy a used on and can't see the extra money for an M8.2 turning into better pictures for me. Having said that, I'd welcome the new features as I believe they're all enhancements, it's just the cost.

    I bought it in full knowledge that the next version could be announced in a matter of a few weeks (as they've stopped building M8.2's), or 12 months, however I think the M8 and the next version will work well together. If it's FF, then it'll be dedicated to my 24mm.
    Your M8 images are stunning! Amazing stuff. How did you process these? They look so film-like. Did you use IR filters? Which lenses? Thx...

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by f1point0 View Post
    Your M8 images are stunning! Amazing stuff. How did you process these? They look so film-like. Did you use IR filters? Which lenses? Thx...
    Hi Steve,
    Very kind of you.

    1st- 90 Elmarit (thin); full frame
    2nd - 24mm Elmarit Asph; full frame
    3rd - 50mm Elmar-M (I think). Slightly cropped.
    All shot with IR filters & 640 iso.

    Processed in Photoshop.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Rolo; 5th August 2009 at 09:40.

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolo View Post

    I bought it in full knowledge that the next version could be announced in a matter of a few weeks (as they've stopped building M8.2's), or 12 months, however I think the M8 and the next version will work well together. If it's FF, then it'll be dedicated to my 24mm.
    I think so too - Rolo - those three shots are completely fab - really great - must be the camera

    Where were they taken?

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    Re: Buying a mint M8 - wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I think so too - Rolo - those three shots are completely fab - really great - must be the camera

    Where were they taken?
    Thanks Jono.

    Cheshire Steam Fair, Pickmere and the Manchester International Festival.

    I posted 3 other images from the same Steam Fair here: Post 1134

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...t=4730&page=57

    Many thanks.

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