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Thread: Sony a900/Leica M8

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    Sony a900/Leica M8

    I really didnt know which forum to post this in. I sold most of my camera gear a few months back and am ready to jump back in. My eye has been on the a900 for a bit. As a matter of fact I believe this is the camera I am going to purchase. Now My eye has been on the Leica M8 ever since it came out. I love rangefinders and now that the used prices have been getting better there comes the problem. Well I have never shot either of these cameras until I was loaned an m8.2 35 f2.5 and 75 f2.5 for the last few days. I have to say coming from canon and nikon pro cameras, the raw files out of the M8 and amazing. The clarity, crispness and contrast from the raws converted in C1 are about as good as I have seen. There seems to be more resolution then the 12mp nikons, even with zeiss primes. Now to my question. I really dont have access to shoot the a900 prior to purchase. So how do the a900 Raw files compare to the M8? Are they able to be manipulated as much? Is the color as good? I assume the resolution is much better, but honestly the M8's really shocked me. Sorry for the run on.
    thanks,
    todd

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Hi Todd
    Depends what you want I guess.
    probably the best answer is to get both :-)

    The A900 files are lovely, but, as you say, so are the M8 files.
    I've got both.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Jono,
    Thanks again.. That is so not the answer i wanted to hear, but was afraid of.
    Todd

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Hey Todd
    I thought you bought an A900 back in April?
    still dithering?
    you said you were bored of manual focus then, in which case the A900 is obviously the way to go.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Is there some other way of making the choice, like what you need the camera for, or how much resolution you need to get the results you need? The A900 has an anti-aliasing filter, so the pixels aren't as sharp, but they really aren't bad, better than my old Canon 5D, and there are just so many pixels on the A900, so the M8 can only lose there. It also has no way of doing telephoto shots (if you ignore the quirky Visoflex III), macro shots (the 90 Macro only get 1:2.5 or so), and so on. The M8 is much more compact though, and there are many very good lenses for it, some very cheap, like Zeiss and Voigtländer lenses, and the new Summarits (okay, not *that* cheap).
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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I got really busy in april and never got around to making the purchase. No im getting ready. i really didnt mind the MF of the m8. It seems very easy to focus. I also did not go any higher then base ISO on the m8. I am really excited about the zeiss lenses for the a900 too, maybe i should not have tasted the leica mystique this weekend.
    thanks,
    todd

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Todd,

    as an "old" M8 user (and almost all the lenses) and now also a A900 user I can give my advise:

    Currently I would NOT buy an M8 (or M8.2) if I do not own any lenses yet. While the M8 produces exceptional files, it is at least 1 or 2 generations behind the current sensor technology - shall translate if Leica would use the latest sensor technology in this camera it would rock much more. I would wait for an M9 to jump into the M system, as this could be the real great step forward and then a FF M9 sensor combined with Leica lenses would without doubt outperform all the other stuff available in 35mm.

    If you are not a sports photographer or a photo journalist needing very often ISO above 3200 then the best 35mm FF DSLR currently is in my opinion the A900. Well built, relatively small and the sensor in combination with the Zeiss lenses delivers wonderful and very detailed results. BTW also some G lenses seem to be extraordinary good, as my 70-200 just knocks me of the socks, if I compare it to the same lenses from Nikon and Canon. But maybe it is also a combination of lens and sensor and maybe also IS in the camera (so no disturbing glass in lens). And I know what I am talking about, as I still own a Nikon outfit with latest lenses and I just sold a Canon outfit to buy the A900 stuff. Now please understand me right, I do not say Nikon or Canon are bad, they are great for certain photography and certain photographers, but if you are looking for highest image quality in that segment then in my opinion the A900 wins.

    Still not able to decide? I know how that feels

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Thanks for all the great feedback. I actually dont shoot sports or anything fast paced and i very rarely go above base ISO. I like travel photography and some decisive moment. I love the feel of the sony, but have not actually had a chance to put it through its paces. I've had the 5d, d700. 14n, most canon crop frame slr's, blah, blah ,blah. The canon cameras were not for me. i felt the images had a mush feel to them. The 14n put out great pics, but my sensor went bad. D700 was great with the zeiss lenses, but i feel there is better. m8 images kind of have a snap to them. looking at them it seems a combination of the sensor and the great lenses. does the a900 lean closer to the m8 in IQ or closer to the canons/Nikons?
    todd

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    To me closer to M8 than Nikon but I haven't used as many systems to be able to know all the different characteristics (Ive only had M8, D700, A900). .

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I agree with Terry
    with an effectively lighter AA filter and apparently less 'processing' of the RAW files, I'd say the Sony files are much more like those of the M8 than Canikon (of course, that also translates to more visible noise at higher iso).

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    As Peter said, why would you buy an old technology? In my opinion, RF and DSLR are completely different philosophies, so chosing one over the other has much less to do with IQ than with individual preferences. I personally don't like RF, don't like crop sensors, but if you're into RF, again better wait for a FF sensor body.
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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    As Edward says, the two systems are extremely different in their capabilities and strengths. And as Peter says, the M8 is no longer new, and who knows when it will be replaced.

    However, if you don't need any of those things that the A900 does and the M8 not, including resolution, then the M8 is a definite contender. The Leica M system is really hard to beat within its area. I own an M8, and am wavering between adding an MFDB and an A900. I have tested an A900, and used to own a 5D.

    I would say that the A900 images are about halfway between the 5D and the M8, w.r.t. mushy-looking files. The A900 clearly still has an AA filter, but with a touch of sharpening the files look very good. I still think that the M8 files look more natural, with great colours and real snap, as long as you use coded lenses with IR filters.

    Unless you plan on ending up with both (buy the A900, wait for the M9), I would say that you really need to do more testing. Personally, and this is just an opinion here, I would sell an A900 before I would sell my M8. In fact, I would sell any other camera before my M8. But owning both could be great. If you do go in the direction of the M8, then I would strongly recommend finding a clean, second-hand M8, and investing more in the focal lengths you would enjoy on full-frame, with perhaps one lens specifically matching your favorite focal length on the M8, keeping the 1.33x crop factor in mind.
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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I cant comment about the A900 but the D3x (I guess the D3x-sensor shouldnt be that much different) and while I dont have Zeiss glass for my Nikon I do own some really nice lenses for it (including the Leica 100Macro with Nikon mount).
    While the IQ of the D3x is great and has 22 MP, I often prefer what I get from the M8 (at least up to ISO 640). I dont know how much is from the sensor and how much from the lenses - but the M8 images show a clarity, tonality etc. which comes close to a medium format look.
    The sensor isnt the latest but that only means: its not so great aboce ISO 640 (I think its not that different with the A900) and you are limited to less megapixel- which is only a problem if you print big.

    If I dont need tele and if I dont need AF and if I dont have to go over ISO 640 than I prefer to carrythe M8. This is quite often.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by toddbee View Post
    Thanks for all the great feedback. I actually dont shoot sports or anything fast paced and i very rarely go above base ISO. I like travel photography and some decisive moment. I love the feel of the sony, but have not actually had a chance to put it through its paces. I've had the 5d, d700. 14n, most canon crop frame slr's, blah, blah ,blah. The canon cameras were not for me. i felt the images had a mush feel to them. The 14n put out great pics, but my sensor went bad. D700 was great with the zeiss lenses, but i feel there is better. m8 images kind of have a snap to them. looking at them it seems a combination of the sensor and the great lenses. does the a900 lean closer to the m8 in IQ or closer to the canons/Nikons?
    todd
    For me much closer to the M8, but you get much more resolution and detail. Always assumed you are using Zeiss lenses.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Todd,

    as an "old" M8 user (and almost all the lenses) and now also a A900 user I can give my advise:

    Currently I would NOT buy an M8 (or M8.2)......but if you are looking for highest image quality in that segment then in my opinion the A900 wins....

    Bollocks.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Bollocks.

    subtle and gentle as ever Peter

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    In my opinion, RF and DSLR are completely different philosophies, so chosing one over the other has much less to do with IQ than with individual preferences...
    I agree with this statement... the systems are very different approaches to image capture. I have a Nikon system and the M8 and was contemplating an a900 to replace the Nikon. After a lot of false starts, I realized that I love the M8 and use it 90% of the time. And in what turned out to be a fairly twisted logic path, ended up purchasing a MF film camera instead of the Sony (sort of a "now for something entirely different" move). I simply love the rangefinder approach and couldn't justify the spend on a camera that wouldn't yield enough change from other DSLRs (I'm over-simplifying here--no flames please). However, if it was the reverse and I really enjoyed the DSLR approach, then the Sony would likely be the one.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    subtle and gentle as ever Peter
    Maybe I could have said the same thing in more gentle fashion - but


    that would have taken more words.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Well, I guess I'll weigh in here.

    IMO, these comparisons are very difficult to sort out. Owners tend to hype their choices ... as well they should since they DID make a decision to get one camera over the other (AKA: purchase justification). I guess I can speak with a little bit less purchase justification, since I purchased ALL of them 2 M8s & 7 lenses (mostly fast aperture ASPHs), 2 Sony A900s and all of the Zeiss optics + the 70/200/2.8G, 1 Nikon D3 and a .... D3X ... plus most of the modern AFS, nano-nano lenses including the 200/2VR. My primary purchase justification is that I make my living with this stuff, and do a lot of different types of photography. For me, "Horses for courses" simply means I have a stable of horses (the other barn is packed with the BIG MFD horses which ARE the IQ KINGS).

    If the image quality of the M8 is to your liking, then a claim that it's "old sensor technology" is meaningless isn't it? IF an improved M digital rolls out in the next year or so, rest assured it will NOT be in the Sony price range like used M8s currently are. Plus, NO ONE knows if and when a M9 might be making its debut. "Bird in the hand," and all that.

    While the Sony A900 body is a nice size, the Zeiss lenses are BIG and heavy ... there are no smaller Zeiss W/A primes yet, so for wide angle work it's the two Zooms ... which are not small. I can just about fit an A900 with the Zeiss 24-70 and a flash into a bag that holds my entire M system.

    WHO IS KING of 35mm sized IQ? Depends on what combination of what camera, what lenses, what ISO, what shooting conditions. The A900 with the 135/1.8 is great. The Nikon D3X with the 200/2VR is greater IMO. A900 with Zeiss 16-36/2.8 is fab, the Leica M8 with 24/1.4 and 28/2 is faster and more fab ... and the Nikon D3 with 14-24 is Fab in its own right because it shoots circles around the Sony and Leica at ISOs above 1000.

    My opinion based on your criteria? If you don't have any Leica M lenses, just get the Sony and a couple of lenses. In general most people are more comfortable with the diversity offered by a DSLR that allows you to expand your horizons. If you have a M8/9 or whatever, one thing isn't going to change ... the focal length spread is 16mm to 90mm, no true macro, no long lenses, no possibility of T/S.

    On the other hand, IF you are a rangefinder person, and love the way you think with one, then there is no substitute. Do get wrapped up in the logo on the Leica, think about the way you ... think creatively.

    -Marc

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Just to weigh in. Bottom line get what is most comfortable to use and fits your style of working. DSLR are certainly more versatile with most shooting. The M8 is a harder camera to master in many ways and you need to be able to focus well and think for yourself, there is no love on any automation here. The results are stellar though but the price is not with a budget in mind either. Depends on needs and wants. I loved my M8's but end of the day as a Pro and my only system it just would not do it all. That became a issue and sold the system for MF which i still try and do it all with. I'm cheating but it is working to my advantage, certainly I have some limitations here as well but end of day it still is a more versatile system than a M8 system. Pick your poison that fits you the best. There really is no right or wrong just a matter of preference versus needs.
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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Having owned Canon before the M8 and now the Sony a900, perhaps I'll give my thoughts also.

    The M8 was (and still is) a superb image taker. The Leica optics are just sublime and on the cropped M8 sensor were so sharp edge to edge. The M8 it's self was very good with the upper limit around ISO 640 in colour. However converting ISO 640 and above to monochrome gave a nice grain effect very like traditional B&W films.

    It's easy to pick out the Leica look in my image library as it is to pick the Canon 85L. My eye is starting to become accustomed to the look of the Sony Zeiss 85 and I have no problem spotting the 135.

    The Zeiss zooms, I've yet to warm to, excellent optics in their own right but still fall short of the quality I came to admire in the Leica primes.

    With regard to the M8 it's self, I'd be very cautious buying 2nd hand, value may be good but there are many legacy problems which may come back to haunt you and I'm sure the cost of repair will far outweigh the savings made.

    Take for example the line problem, a vertical line caused by a stuck pixel. I had this twice on my M8 one at about 18 months and the next 3 months later. It required a sensor replacement.

    There have been quite a few shutter failures / fractures reported, my concern would be the long term reliability if this unit.

    Don't pick me up wrong, if it were not for my inability to focus the rangefinder accurately due to my eyesight, I would still be using it as my main system, I loved it. But with the young kids becoming more mobile and faster on their feet I decided a return to dSLR with AF was needed. The choice of Sony was quite simply a value for money one, I'd read good reports, Zeiss optics to compensate for the loss of Leica and AF to boot. For sure a step into the unknown, but I'm glad I did.

    The only item I need (lust) is a fast wide prime, in the meantime I'm quite happy shooting ISO 1000 with the f:/2.8 zooms.
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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Everyone has said it all really. Having like others here used a LeicaDMR on an R9 for many years, the A900 AF and Steadyshot systems are a revelation. The only R lens I really miss is the 100F2.8 macro. Many of the current Sony and older Minolta lenses are old friends as Minolta designed and manufactured quite a few of the Leica reflex lenses anyway!

    As always this sort of decision making comes down to asking yourself "what sort of photography do I really want to do?" If you are brutally honest the answer usually stares you in the face given the advice on this thread.

    For me it was about using A/F full frame with the lenses designed for full frame and damned good Zeiss and Minolta designed lenses at that.

    After using cropped sensors, coming to FF is not always easy. The shallower depth of field tends to catch you out at first..........but it's creative possibilities are soon mastered and the freedom to crop as you wish or print large are a revelation IMHO.

    Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I sold my M8 a few months ago, and frankly, I'm reliefed. Everyday I used to take a look over at LUF, and quite often there'd be M8 users reporting all kinds of problems. I got scared that my camera with only 12.000 actuations would be next. Now I know there are quite a lot M8's out there working perfectly without any problem. And indeed the files coming out of the M8 are quite good for a 10 MP camera that has been on the market for 2,5 years. But fear of some kind of failure, like the ones mentioned above, really spoiled my enjoyment while using the M8. I don't make money on photography (yet) and I'm on a very small budget so the M8 with lenses was quite an investment for me. Being afraid all the time that the only serious digital camera I owned would break down, wasn't doing my work any good.

    After this experience I'm very happy with the a900 with Zeiss glas. I don't know what Sony is offering where you are living, but in some (or all?) European countries Sony offers free 'extended pro service' which means two years full guaranty and your camera will be repaired within 24 hours, or you'll be offered a loaner. Sony HQ is only 20 km away from where I live, and in case of any trouble I can just drive up there instead of having to send my M8 to Solms for I don't know how long.
    Even if a full frame M9 would come out today, and even if I had the money, I would be very reluctant to buy it the first half year.

    I agree with most of what has been said about IQ and the differences in size, weight, rangefinder vs SLR, etc.
    Personally, after having worked with the M8 files for 2,5 years I think the a900, with roughly 2,5x more MP's, the right lenses and with the right RAW converter, can be at least as good as the M8. Perhaps (not sure yet) a littlle less 'sharp', but also less 'clean'. I can't explain what it is I see yet, but it's as if the a900 files somehow look more 'natural'.
    All this is of course just my personal opinion. I hope you'll enjoy your future camera as much as I enjoy my a900.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Great Posts everyone.
    Particularly Eoin and PeterV.
    Todd, resistance is useless, you'll just have to buy both!
    Me? I'm keeping both.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Some comments on all the posts:

    1) I feel the Zeiss zooms not to be big! Not bigger and heavier than the Nikon and Canon counterparts. But much more solid quality in my view. And not to mention the superb IQ.

    2) The M8 has 10MP and even if they are as good as they can be, they are not better than the 24MP from the Sony. The Sony just gives the essential more in resolution which at least I want and need and this at the similar sharpness, contrast and definitely DR as the M8 files.

    3) The M8 is a totally different beast, small, quick and quiet to use, I love my high speed lenses, especially the Nocti etc, etc. The A900 will never be the same, but it is a perfect image taking (making) tool and much more supportive than the M8. Although if you are a real M photographer you will not need this support, you even find it disturbing. Same for me as well, but sometimes I like and need the one way and sometimes the other

    I think finally one needs both

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Just might have to get both it seems. Sounds like possible the sony first. thanks for all the great information everyone. i appreciate it.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by toddbee View Post
    Just might have to get both it seems. Sounds like possible the sony first. thanks for all the great information everyone. i appreciate it.
    HI Todd
    I think that's the right decision. then see if you want the Leica as well.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Marc - if you have the time and are so inclined could you comment on the following.

    How would you characterize the differences/similarities between the a900 and M8 files?

    We know the a900 is 24mp and the M8 10mp - what does the 24mp file yield for you (if anything) that you cannot get from the 10mp M8 file? And related - how much difference (if any) do you see in prints from the two cameras (of different sizes if applicable) and what do you feel are the print size limitations for the two cameras, assuming you are starting with optimal files?

    How much work and effort is involved in processing the files from the two different cameras? Do the files look good "right out of the can" as they say for both cameras with little or no processing? Does one camera require more "work" to get it to look fine. Have you been able to standardize your processing routine somewhat for the files from each camera?

    Much appreciated.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I've been reading this thread with great interest and I respect all the views expressed - but I'm a mite puzzled!

    The M8 and the Sony are totally different tools and I see them as having only a very narrow stretch of common ground in their uses. What point is there in choosing one or the other based on such things as IQ?

    The M8 would be a terrible tool for most nature photography, for example, because long tele and macro lenses just don't figure in its arsenal. On the other hand, rapid and discreet street photography isn't the best use of the a900, which is heavy, bulky and rather noisy too.

    To me the decision on which to buy would depend almost solely on the intended use - not the lenses, not the pixel count, not even the user interface, just the work for which the tool is needed.

    For the record, I love the tactile quality of the M8 (just like the M6 I used to own) and have used a borrowed one on a few occasions. I don't own one because I don't do the sort of photography at which it excels, although the gear-head in me would like to have one to play with occasionally!

    Of course, I'm really a medium format guy and have been since my first Ilford Craftsman about 55 years ago! So what do I know?

    Warm regards to all - this is a great forum.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    You know. Jono may be on to something. Have to get them both.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Some comments on all the posts:

    1) I feel the Zeiss zooms not to be big! Not bigger and heavier than the Nikon and Canon counterparts. But much more solid quality in my view. And not to mention the superb IQ.

    2) The M8 has 10MP and even if they are as good as they can be, they are not better than the 24MP from the Sony. The Sony just gives the essential more in resolution which at least I want and need and this at the similar sharpness, contrast and definitely DR as the M8 files.

    3) The M8 is a totally different beast, small, quick and quiet to use, I love my high speed lenses, especially the Nocti etc, etc. The A900 will never be the same, but it is a perfect image taking (making) tool and much more supportive than the M8. Although if you are a real M photographer you will not need this support, you even find it disturbing. Same for me as well, but sometimes I like and need the one way and sometimes the other

    I think finally one needs both
    The comment about the Zeiss Zooms being big was in comparison to kit weight/size compared to the M8 ... which is what the OP was asking about ... not Canon or Nikon.
    With Canon or Nikon you can opt for smaller Zeiss primes on a small body like a 5D-II or D700, which isn't an option with the A900 ... yet.

    While I like the industrial design of the Zeiss AZ lenses, no one knows the real endurance factor of any of this A900 stuff yet. I would guess it to be good, but with Canon L or Nikon equivalents I KNOW it is good.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I know that there are a lot of people new to the Sony system here, but remember that many have owned the ZA primes for nearly 3 years without issue, which is a pretty good indication of durability, IMO, but I guess we'll see how they last over decades.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I know that there are a lot of people new to the Sony system here, but remember that many have owned the ZA primes for nearly 3 years without issue, which is a pretty good indication of durability, IMO, but I guess we'll see how they last over decades.
    How do you know that? How many people? Doing what with them? How many Pros using them every day? Where are the Sony service records on public display for review?

    I'll believe it when I actually have them for a span of time, and know others who actually depend on their gear that have used them for some time.

    It's also why I still have my Nikon gear. I'm skeptical about any claims from enthusastic buyers of anything. The proof is in the pudding rather than purchase justification.

    That said, my hopes are high

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    How do you know that? How many people? Doing what with them? How many Pros using them every day? Where are the Sony service records on public display for review?

    I'll believe it when I actually have them for a span of time, and know others who actually depend on their gear that have used them for some time.

    It's also why I still have my Nikon gear. I'm skeptical about any claims from enthusastic buyers of anything. The proof is in the pudding rather than purchase justification.

    That said, my hopes are high
    Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there is outstanding statistical proof that the ZA primes will hold up, as I'm basing my opinions on talking to users (from amateur to pro) about them for the last three years. I've put the ZA 85** and 24-70 through quite a bit over the last year and a half with no issues myself....actually, I've had one issue. When I bought the 24-70 in Feb. of 2008, I received it with a small problem in the zoom ring, and had to send it back. Also, I've heard of front elements falling out of the 135 ZA, but these issues seem to be related to bad initial QC, and not long term use issues.

    All of this being said, I would be more concerned about the durability of the Zeiss zooms, seeing as how they are SSM and have more plastic in them. The primes, with their all metal bodies and simple screw drive AF, seem pretty bullet proof.

    note** I should mention that my only issue with the 85 hasn't been the lens, but rather the hood. The plastic, threaded insert is prone to popping off of the lens and breaking if you store it attached to the lens in a bag. I was able to pop mine back in, but it has a hairline fracture now. I don't recommend storing any of the Zeiss hoods attached to the lens in a bag, and Sony doesn't sell a replacement part for this, so you have to buy an all new hood if you can't fix it yourself.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by toddbee View Post
    Just might have to get both it seems. Sounds like possible the sony first. thanks for all the great information everyone. i appreciate it.
    Todd

    No one has yet mentioned that the economy of the M system is excellent if considered on a long term basis. You can buy many mint condition M lenses on various site, including this one, for about half the price of new. Since Leica lenses list prices continue to increase the liklihood is that you will be able to sell these lenses, if desired, for about what you paid for them! And there are many deals from reputable dealers like Tamarkin who are selling demo M8's with warranty, for very reasonable prices. Most reputable dealers will also inform you as to the number of actuations on the shutter so you can rest easy on that score.

    So ultimately it comes down to whether you want and need a super high resolution sensor for doing large prints. The M8 files, for their size, are still as good as most on the market except at high ISO. And if you are looking for high ISO, the Nikon D700 or D3 is the machine to own IMHO

    Woody

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    If we talk resolution, and if we assume one does frame the image mostly as one wants it (I mean not much cropping afterwards) I just made the following calculation:
    On my Epson 240dpi works pretty good. That means I can get a good print from the 10MP up to 10,9x16,3 inch without any upsampling.

    22 MP - if we assume the same per pixel quality, would print up to 16,8x25,2 inch if I calculated correctly.

    So here I say if one doesnt print bigger than 16inch wide the resolution of the M8 should work fine IMO.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Todd

    No one has yet mentioned that the economy of the M system is excellent if considered on a long term basis. You can buy many mint condition M lenses on various site, including this one, for about half the price of new. Since Leica lenses list prices continue to increase the liklihood is that you will be able to sell these lenses, if desired, for about what you paid for them! And there are many deals from reputable dealers like Tamarkin who are selling demo M8's with warranty, for very reasonable prices. Most reputable dealers will also inform you as to the number of actuations on the shutter so you can rest easy on that score.

    So ultimately it comes down to whether you want and need a super high resolution sensor for doing large prints. The M8 files, for their size, are still as good as most on the market except at high ISO. And if you are looking for high ISO, the Nikon D700 or D3 is the machine to own IMHO

    Woody
    Well said Woody. Good information based on experience.

    How one uses a camera, and what the end goal may be is the key.

    Personally, if I were a landscape shooter, and the goal was large display prints of 24" X 36" or larger, then high resolution IQ would be the goal.

    For me, I require both the speed and security of a Pro DSLR ... security of shooting to 2 CF cards at once when doing weddings. Since wedding shooters must have at least 2 cameras with them at a wedding, then the option of a high ISO body like the Nikon D3, and a high resolution body like the D3X provides maxium versatility, speed, and security. Print size is less of an issue with weddings, but the ability to crop, sometimes severely, is a reality ... so one body that provides higher resolution is desirable.

    The M8 shows it's versatility due to size even with wedding work. The camera with a couple of lenses is easy to add to the over-all roller bag.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I (with many others I am sure) can remember part exchanging my rangefinder and lenses for a brand new SLR way back in the early sixties. It was a revelation to be able to see what the lens could see, the flexibility of use and the range of applications after using RF.

    It is a personal thing I know, but I could never return to a RF camera.
    Cheers, Dave
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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by dhsimmonds View Post
    I (with many others I am sure) can remember part exchanging my rangefinder and lenses for a brand new SLR way back in the early sixties. It was a revelation to be able to see what the lens could see, the flexibility of use and the range of applications after using RF.

    It is a personal thing I know, but I could never return to a RF camera.
    HI Dave
    It's a funny old world. I never touched a rangefinder until I bought a Leica M6 in 2006, and I was immediately entranced.
    The fact that you always see the same fov, the fact that you can focus on whatever you see in the image, the fact that you can see what is NOT going to be in your shot as well as what IS. To me it's like an eye extension whereas an SLR is definitely a bolt on.
    Mind you, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be without an SLR as well, by I love using my M8, and I haven't even mentioned those lenses

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I must say I love rangefinders, as I love to have a DSLR in other situations.

    For certain tasks I find a RF just the perfect tool. And I cannot wait till Leica brings the FF M9

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I'm in roughly the same boat with the M8, Sony A900 and Canon 5D on the table. I have come to the conclusion that I need to part with my beloved DMR for something lighter. I have been wrestling with the decision for a long time and seriously considered MF digital because I have not seen any current camera systems that really improve on the DMR, but unfortunately right now shedding weight and bulk is more important than gaining image quality. Pretty much anything is on the table, but the same systems you are considering keep rising to the top of my list.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    I'm in roughly the same boat with the M8, Sony A900 and Canon 5D on the table. I have come to the conclusion that I need to part with my beloved DMR for something lighter. I have been wrestling with the decision for a long time and seriously considered MF digital because I have not seen any current camera systems that really improve on the DMR, but unfortunately right now shedding weight and bulk is more important than gaining image quality. Pretty much anything is on the table, but the same systems you are considering keep rising to the top of my list.
    Well as Leica have apparently announced that they do not now intend to continue developing the R10 and the DMR is now well over 5 year old technology with spares shortages and ongoing service problems....the writing is on the wall for you I think?

    Leica intend to develop a FF compact with EVF viewfinder. If it is in the same quality league as the Leica D2 it will be a winner..........but it won't be a reflex camera with all the flexibility that a reflex offers.

    The A900 and whatever Sony develop next for us with Zeiss lenses is the nearest we can hope to get to what we were hoping for from Leica. The S2 will be expensive, too heavy and with bulky lenses for me personally, although I am sure the image quality will be breathtaking.
    Cheers, Dave
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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Instead of sinkung my money into an S2 I would happily buy a Phase back adn the Phamiya system and a tech camera. I am sure the total will be cheaper than a decent S2 system

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Peter, yes, reluctantly I would agree with you on your MFDB choice. The Phase would also provide some future proofing with their excellent upgrade roadmap.

    I am only reluctant as I would have liked to see Leica survive but I am beginning to have some serious doubts about their future survival plans. They reckon to sell 10,000 (according to recent statement made on LUF) of their S2 in two years..........good luck to them as I doubt if Mamiya, Hasselblad or Phase One will let that happen!
    Cheers, Dave
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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Hi Dave,

    I guess you misunderstood something.

    In the Interview with Stefan Daniel apparently he spoke of an entire market consisting of 10,000 per annum, of which they target double digit figures for year one.

    I think that his assessment of the entire market volume is way too optimistic, and conversations about the same with Sinar and Phase one would lead me to believe that the entire market is more in the low to mid 6K figure per annum realistically.

    I think the video will be up by the end of the week.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I do agree that the total market worldwide for MFDBs is in the range of a few thousand a year. Which means if Leica can get 10% in the first year or so this are around 500 - 1000 S2 cameras. But this is an optimistic view of the situation.

    Given their attitude and their communication skills and the history of launching products in the digital area developed by Leica which work without flaws I would say the numbers will be much lower.

    And I agree as well that I do not see any reason why Hassi and Phase would like and allow Leica to start eating their market.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    Well, I sure hope LEICA will succeed, seriously. It would be a very sad day to see them in really deep trouble. I have a lot of time for a company that established the "LEICA Freedom Train" during the dark ages in the NAZI regime, family being interrogated by the Gestapo etc.

    A story, surprisingly unknown amongst many photorgaphers I came across.

    As for the S2 and eating away on Phase and Hassy marketshares, it is possible in my view, but this entirely depends on 1. The system to work smoothly and 2. probably the most crucial, the entry level price, and the latter they might just get wrong if they operate on too optimistic values as this interview has shown.

    I cross my fingers for them.

    On a side note, it puzzles my why they do not take much better advantage on the aspekt of sealed body and lenses. I sure as hell would advertise it as a breakthrough for landscape photographers, to isolate this to studio, Glamour etc. is an error of judgement in my view.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I am beginning to soften my view of the S2 ... from overly practical ... to let's see what it does.

    Hopefully, Leica's ace in the hole will be, as it's always been, ... the optics. If these new lenses deliver it will be the reason to look at the system.
    Yes, price will play a role, but I doubt anyone really believes anything from Leica will be on par with the competition in terms of price ... never was, probably never will be. People (including me) are ponying up for some ferociously expensive M lenses, so if these new MF optics deliver in spades, it'll be a different story than speculations without seeing anything tangible yet.

    Might be in for a surprise folks. I hope so.

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I agree with Marc
    I think that the remark about the 'lux lenses selling more units than the summarits is telling.

    Clearly the S2 must come up with the goods, but if it really does, then I think there will be enough people to buy it. The combination of the glass, the simplicity of the system, the weatherproofing and the gestalt will all mitigate in their favour. . . . If it's good.

    Everybody is saying that it's the price which will determine whether it's a success or not. But I think it's the profit they make that'll decide whether it succeeds or fails, and as long as it is more expensive than the obvious competition I'm not sure how price sensitive the sales will be . . . . but the profits sure will be price sensitive!

    it's the old story, if you're selling something that it costs you $95 to make, and you want to make $1000 then if you sell it at $100 you have to make 200 of them, if you sell it for $190 then you only need to sell 10. If you transfer that logic to the S2, I don't think the difference between €19000 and €10000 would represent anything faintly resembling a 20 fold increase in sales (I doubt if it would even double them).

    It does have to be good though (did I say that before)

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    Re: Sony a900/Leica M8

    I shook my head in disgust when I heard the price of the new Noctilux and Summilux. Long gone are the days when Leica was (reasonably) affordable and one didn't mind paying that bit extra for the pleasure.

    You'd want to be earning serious dosh from your photography to be dropping £10-19k on the S2 and who knows how much more for a set of lenses. It's a bit OTT for anyone except a true professional IMO. And I don't care how good it is
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