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Thread: The M8 is THE camera for me

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    The M8 is THE camera for me

    2 weeks ago- before vacations. What camera to bring? I am a gear head and had to choose between Hy6 MF, arTec, Nikon DSLR, M8 and small camera.
    Finally I decided to bring the arTec with digital Sinar back (for landscape), the M8 for allround, and the small waterproof Panasonic for beach etc. and for video (it does HD-light).

    The difference in IQ between the MF-back and the M8 images (judged by the printed results), besides pure resolution (33MP vs 10MP) is relativly small.

    The images from the M8 are just great IMO. Sharp, clear, good tonality and DR. I carried the M8+wate+ tri-elmar (28-35-50) and Summarit 70mm mostly during daytime. This fits in a very small bag. Eventually I would use the 28/2.0asph or the 50/1.4asph at dusk/dawn.
    I do believe that I get better IQ with the M8 compared to the D3x as long as print size doesnt get too big.


    The Panasonic ft1 is fine but the images from such a small sensor just cant come close to larger sensors. On the other side the video quality of such a small camera is amzing.

    Conclusion: IMO the M8 is still one of the best image taking machines for travel if print size doesnt get too big. The keeper rate I get with it is very high. Its like made for me.
    If the M9 appears it might become even better. However I really really like the M8.

    Cheers, Tom

  2. #2
    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: The M8 is THE camera for me

    Hi Tom,

    Our experiences are similar. I spent a week earlier this summer traveling to Europe for business and the past several weeks again in Europe for vacation. On both occasions, I brought my M8 and my P45+ cameras. I fully intended to use both cameras equally (the M8 for streetshooting and the P45+ for detailed landscapes/cityscapes). The reality is that I hardly ever pulled out the MFDB ... not because I have issues carrying around a MFDB camera, but, because the usability, comfort and resulting images weighed heavily in the M8's favor.

    On the first trip, I only brought a 35lux ... and in no way felt limited. Actually, I had a blast. On the second trip, I also brought along a 21lux I was trying out and the 75summarit. A simple kit that easily covered everything I needed.

    The P45+ shots are wonderful, but I tend to shoot what I most want to use ... and, when the image quality of M stacks up as well as it does ...

    That said, if an M9 is right around the corner with more megapixels and better high ISO attributes, I'll be at the top of the list as it might be the last camera I need for a long while.

    Kurt

  3. #3
    Super Duper
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    Re: The M8 is THE camera for me

    Kurt,
    I was even fooled one time looking at downsized image for screen and amazed by the detail. I thought it must be a MF-image but I then realized it came from the M8.
    I fell in love with the Summarit 75. Mine focused perfect and I now prefer it to my 35 lux. I have some M lenses which seem to work perfect on my M8 and other which are harder to focus (even though they were calibrated by Leica).

    My favorite lenses are the wate, 21asph, 28asph,50asph, mate and 75 Summarit. The most used is the 28asph.
    The mate did y great job during the vacation trip.

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    Re: The M8 is THE camera for me

    If the M9 is full-frame, 18 to 20 MP and has a 1 to 2 stop ISO improvement - then I think it's a "no compromise" system. We all know that if the M9 sensor has the same IQ as the current M8 sensor, then the M9 will outperform the 1Ds3 & D3X in terms of IQ. I also want to see a 16-bit DNGs because the 8-bit DNGs have limitations in their highlights and shadows (truncated data). With a 16-bit RAW I think we'll see all the possible quality. I believe the M8 could even be better right now if Leica gave us a 16-bit DNG option via a firmware update.

    I'm also hoping for Live View. Having Live View would make WA a breeze and longer lenses would be a snap too - assuming we use a tripod. No more finders, goggles, etc.! If shooting with a tripod is possible in a given setting, then we could use a 135mm, magnify to 10X (or whatever) and and feel pretty darn confident about focus a-la Live View.

    The last item on the proverbial wish list is an updated SF-24D with bounce orientation. I've done the M8 w/ one lens set-up too and the only place where the M8 fell short was on the daylight portraits. The Mrs wore a large hat on the last trip and that cast a shadow on her face. I needed a fill flash to open up that shadow. Shame on me for not having a fill flash. Bounce would be nice for indoor work where I want to add subtle illumination as opposed to direct, forward firing light.

    My biggest worry is that the S2 sucked Leica dry and they don't have the resources (manpower and capital) to pursue the M9 development and production. I know the bleeping M9 will be expensive, but for travel purposes, a 28-50-90 kit on a FF M9 would fit my needs 95-98% of time. And with the added pixels there will be plenty of room for cropping and/or printing large. And there is no doubt about the "liberating" aspect. Friends and family all have commented on the M8. Mostly comments about the M8's size being so much more practical and unobtrusive.

    And we haven't even talked about the lens quality...

  5. #5
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    Re: The M8 is THE camera for me

    Hi John,
    for fill I think direct flash (sf24) works ok. I also wish for a small flash with bounce capability. As a compromise I use the Metz 54 if I need bounce. Its big but works fine.
    No problem for me with the 8bit - 16 might be better but the dr and highlights are ok for me with the M8.
    The funny thing is that I got used so much to the crop and some lenses (the wate as a 21-24-28 lens, the 28asph as a 38mm lens, the 50sph as a 67/1.4 and the 75 as a 100mm that I am afraid that I will need time to get used to a full frame M-camera.
    How are you doing with the ZD?

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    Re: The M8 is THE camera for me

    The M8 delivers outstanding files in fat light. I totally agree with your observations regarding MFD IQ at lower megapixels. the only camera which gives me the same IQ is teh CFV11 I shoot with @ 16 megapixels. However teh CFV11 on a 205FCC is a clunky ( although fun) system comparedto Leica and its brilliant small compact lens system.

    As a travel camera it is peerless. My only negative observation is that I had to send one back to Solms recently because it just stopped working. After two months I got it back - and it stopped working again after one day. Luckilly I bought a used one from Terry as a back-up and it saved me on my holidays.

    If Leica do bring out a full frame version - I hope they fix the silly IR issue - and the dependability of the whole system. If they do this - then they will once again have the best 35mm body/lens combination out there.

    I am more interested in Leica preserving its MFD IQ than sacrificing its IQ for overprocessed noise management and fake higher ISO. If they give two stops more in higher ISO and degrde IQ - it will be just another ordinary crappy 35mm camera - this would be very sad.

    I own three MFD systems and 5 MF camera systems as well as technical cameras. To be honest - I look forward to getting down to an M system one MF system (S2 if it works) and one technical system - arTec.

    Nothing competes with Leica glass - nothing.

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    Re: The M8 is THE camera for me

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I am more interested in Leica preserving its MFD IQ than sacrificing its IQ for overprocessed noise management and fake higher ISO. If they give two stops more in higher ISO and degrde IQ - it will be just another ordinary crappy 35mm camera - this would be very sad.
    I agree with this 100%. People have gotten used to DSLR's that can deliver "clean" high ISO files and are now looking for that "feature" in every product. I understand for some shooters this is important for certain situations but this is not the purview of the M8, nor do I think it should be. It is better to accept the M8 for its' strength in IQ at lower ISO's than to give into the notion that we need a clean 1600 file and sacrifice any of the wonderful quality that presently exists. After all, we have Lux's - use them!

    The DMR is similar, a perfect fat light ISO100 machine. All the new Nikons, Canon's, Sony's etc. are way ahead in feature sets etc. but the files from the leicas still have the mojo working.

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    Re: The M8 is THE camera for me

    Yeah, I'm not that focused on ISO either because F1.4 lens with ISO 640 is pretty workable in most cases. Better ISO would be nice, but it's not a key consideration for my needs. I do think ISO 80 is key in order to compensate for the 1/4000 max shutter speed. Losing 1/8000 with the new shutter sucks.

    Tom - I've tried the Metz 54 on the M8, and while it does work, it's a awkward solution. I use a SF-24D too, and actually like flash. I'm experimenting with home-made diffusers right now. If Leica had a nice bounce flash, then that would address my ISO needs. As for the ZD, I'm getting ready to sell it. I can afford to keep the 1Ds3, M8 and ZD - something has to go. I'm banking on a M9. 21-22 MP is plenty for me, so medium format is headed in a direction where I do not need to go. Whereas a small camera like a M9 with presumably 20 MP sensor with high IQ - that's like mini-medium-format! Don't get me wrong, I love medium format, but I don't need the bulk.

    With regards to the 8-bit DNG's vs 16-bit DNGs - I think this depends on the end user. If the images undergo minimal editing in Photoshop, then 8 bits is adequate. If the images undergo more significant changes such as moderate levels adjustments, pushing color balance, manipulating saturation at the channel level, etc., then the shortcomings of 8 bits become evident. My dream is to push a M9 file as far as 1Ds3 / P25 file (by "push" I mean colors, levels, etc.)

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    Re: The M8 is THE camera for me

    I believe Leica will ship a M9 soon...it's been a long time for the M8 and the poor brother the M8.2 (I do have a M8 and definitively see no point in getting a M8.2).

    The reason of my believe in the M9 ? LEICA had the time to planned it, and with the venue of the S2 wich everyone won't be able to afford, a beautiful M9 will give us a bone to bite.

    For those of us who have invested in Leica glass since the film leica or later, this will be fantastic and I think it will occur before the end of 2009 (M9 2009 , MARKETTING !!!).

    I have begun to save money (because it won't be low priced !!)

    We will see...

    Stephane
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