'5 reasons to buy a Leica M8/M9 in 2016'

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by kdghantous, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. So, the M8 is ten years old and the M9 is almost two generations old. Do they make sense today? From what I have seen, they absolutely do. I care more about the annoying shutter motor than ISO limitations, but YMMV.
    This photographer makes a good point, that while the Fuji X100T is usually nominated as the 'poor man's Leica' (better stated as the inexpensive alternative), the M8 is probably the better choice. And M lenses are no more expensive than any other system, thanks to the huge amount of choice you have.


    Thoughts?
    http://leicarumors.com/2016/06/11/5-reasons-to-buy-a-leica-m8-and-5-reason-to-buy-a-leica-m9-in-2016.aspx/
     
  2. The M9 is definitely still a great shooter today for several types of work. No worries about live view and movie modes being "old" since they're not there at all.
    The LCD is certainly dated in terms of any kind of confirming of sharpness. It's more than adequate though for confirming exposure via the histogram at a quick glance after a shot.
    If I were taking my Leica to Europe and planned on spending quite a bit of time in museums and cathedrals, I would want the better higher ISO capabilities of an M262. I've gotten along fine on such a trip with my Olympus OMD bodies, f1.4 to f2 primes and not shooting over ISO 800, but also had a lot of help from the great IS system at sometimes extremely low shutter speeds, something you would need to compensate more with the Leica by using higher ISO's. I had an opportunity to experience that briefly on a recent trip to New York City and a walk through St. Patrick's Cathedral, where several frames captured between ISO 2000-3200 with the M262 would not have looked as nice captured with the M9 at its top ISO 2500.
    Today, I was downtown shooting architecture and used a M9 and M262 interchangeably to cut down on lens changes. Other than one or two operational differences, they handle very well together.
     
  3. Who cares about "2016" written on the calendar? - "Fun to shoot" and "good enough" would feel more like eternally solid facts. Amateur photography depends on that fun factor. The entire thing is supposed to make you happy. So if you don't like the idea of taking a camera out, why should you do it? - Whatever works in that irrational light is a right purchase.
    The new thing I learned from the linked video is that there seem to be SD card taking smart phones permitting editing & publishing on the fly. - I am wondering who makes these, since I'd be reluctant to shoot on adapted micro SD cards for my Samsung. - 18MP pixelpeeping on elderly netbooks feels painfully slow BTW.
     
  4. The M8 did make stunning B&W, but seems like very few of them are out there for sale. Makes me
    wonder how many of them have gone to Leica heaven.
     
  5. Did he work that black one over with sandpaper?
     
  6. The recycle bin is waiting for old school electronics.
     
  7. .......how many (M8) have gone to Leica heaven......
    Obviously some, but I think we would have seen lots more irate posts. I think a lot of folks pushed their finances & paid top dollar, thinking secretly they would last like an M3, with back up plan; no ability to pay that amount again 5 or 10 years later. I'm a bit like that with my M9.
     
  8. One reason not to buy an M9 in 2016 is the Sony A7 series.
     
  9. Unless you utilize Leica wide to really wide M lenses and what the best possible image quality.
    People also do often choose Leica M for the rangefinder style of photography, which the Sony is....well....not the right choice.
    Not even in the same area code.
     
  10. Perhaps too much is made of the quality of Leitz/Leica optics. Even before the Japanese entered the fray, Zeiss and Schneider were widely held to be as good or better.
    It is true that Leica alone now offers split image focussing in a digital camera. However, "rangefinder style of working" can also refer to the physical size of the camera body. For me that was the important thing. I could not hold a digital SLR steady at speeds which I could manage with my M6 and which I manage with my A7. "Full frame" was essential for reasons of depth of field.
    Finally, cost is a consideration for many. I found an A7 with kit lens for just $100 more than what I had got for my M6: and there was no expense on lenses.
     
  11. "The M8 did make stunning B&W, but seems like very few of them are out there for sale. Makes me wonder how many of them have gone to Leica heaven"'Ray.

    Eight M8's for sale on ebay UK, eight M9's, eleven M240's and twenty four A7's...lot of folk keen to sell their A7's. For a 10 year old camera selling at over 1000gbp it must have a lot going for it...seems plenty around and still being supported by Leica.

    "One reason not to buy an M9 in 2016 is the Sony A7 series".Makul.

    Yes, I read the same about the Fuji Pro1 (great cam) which can be picked up for 250gbp and dropping in price.

    Love these my cam is better than yours threads...cannot resist them;)
     
  12. So far as I am concerned, this is about Which camera is the best for me at this time?
    I am not Makul any more than you are Alan.
     
  13. Perhaps too much is made of the quality of Leitz/Leica optics. Even before the Japanese entered the fray, Zeiss and Schneider were widely held to be as good or better.
    However you want to frame it, Mukul. Indeed, there's nothing inexpensive about using Leica digital rangefinders.
    If I wanted to use a Sony A7, it wouldn't be with Leica, Nikon, Canon, Zeiss or any other brand of rangefinder lenses. I'd have 2-3 of the best native zooms Sony makes for the camera. I don't mess around with adapting lenses on my Olympus OMD system either. If I'm going to use a camera that has an AF option and such a great full-frame sensor as the Sony, why in the world, other than just being cheap, would I not use AF lenses made for it?
     
  14. "One reason not to buy an M9 in 2016 is the Sony A7 series".Mukul.

    But for other folk their are many reasons NOT to buy a Sony A7 least of all they are being updated which seems like every month. Old tech comes to mind, which need lots of coins, to keep them updated to the latest tech. What would we do without the latest tech..

    "So far as I am concerned, this is about Which camera is the best for me at this time?
    I am not Makul any more than you are Alan"

    I would agree.....but, no need to knock other folks preferences. I've always thought that the photographer takes the photo not the cam..

    Yes, you are Mukul and I'm Allen....I blame spell check;) My excuse Sir I will do better next time.
    .
     
  15. http://diglloyd.com/blog/2015/20150518_1648-Sony-reliability-and-service.html
     
  16. I am biased towards Leica optics and Leica RF cameras. In comparison, other camera systems with digital cameras are not even faintly of interest to me.
     
  17. Greg, I have five manual focus F mount Nikkors to go with my A7. Today they cost little, relatively, good they always were. My need was small lenses, and zooms are not small. I use only some of the automation the camera offers because I like to be in control. I get results good enough to satisfy me and have no objection to being called cheap by the ignorant. I wanted a digital substitute for my M6 and I got that.

    Allen, I say again, Leica is not the only option for someone who wants a digital camera smaller than an SLR. The only preferences of which I spoke were my own.

    Raid, I owned and used M and screw Leicas from 1985 to 2015, but my experience is that other cameras -- and other camera types -- can do what a Leica does, and just as well. If it had not become so difficult here to have film processed I would still have had the M6 I was forced to abandon. Thirty years of M Leicas did not cause me to develop blind faith.
     
  18. Which begs the question, why hang around a forum with a bunch of fools who use equipment you were the only smart
    one to get rid of? There are Nikon and Sony forums, probably full of like-minded users who won't take posts completely
    off track just to make the point they were the only smart one to no longer be using what everyone else here is.
     
  19. It's become routine to come and check what's going on. Besides, now and again I am able to help users who have less experience or none. Do please try to have me banned or ejected if you wish to do that.
     
  20. These were obsolete when they first came out.
     
  21. Hi Karim,
    I'm not sure what's driving you to get Leica M digital body. I hope you have some Leica mount lenses you would like to use. In my mind, if you are getting a Leica body, it'd better have a full frame sensor so you can utilize the capabilities of the native lenses to their full potential. I'd rather have M9. M8 never interested me, especially with its crop factor and effect on depth of field on Leica mount lenses.
    Now, Leica lenses can be used with adapters on Fuji, Sony, etc., but it's really not that easy to use them on other systems. If I had some extra money, I'd get a good M9 body and try to enjoy using those lenses rangefinder-style. After all, they were designed for rangefinder cameras (Sony's, Fujis and others work much better with their native rather than with manual focus Leica lenses).
    As far as these cameras go, yes they were behind the curve when they were introduced but if you are after a rangefinder, that's what they are, they take pictures and that's all you should care about. Right?
    Good luck!
     
  22. Everybody is entitled to an opinion. Everybody has an opinion.
     
  23. Try visiting SONY headquarters, and request to meet with the CEO and a couple of VPs while you are there.
    A small group of Leica users went to Wetzlar on June 31, and we were given a VIP treatment for several hours there.
    Stefan Daniel spent one hour touring the history of Leica in the splendid new hall in the new Leica building. He addressed all questions put to him by us. This was a special treat. (Leica Director of Product Management)

    Oliver Kaltner (CEO) gave us about 45 minutes of his busy time, and he was very nice to all of us. Herr Kaltner shared with us his vision for Leica, explaining to us how optical engineering was the foundation and also the future . A treat indeed.

    Silke Benrhardt did first class organizing and hosting of the events. Her role was crucial. Thank you!


    Peter Karbe (Chief Optical Designer 2002 - current) gave us a detailed slide presentation of Tradition and Innovation at Leica. It was a 75 minute presentation. Again, a real treat.
     
  24. correction: visit was on May 31, 2016.
     
  25. it

    it

    I sold my M9 and got a A7R2. Both are great cameras, but I can give you five (or twenty) reasons why I don't miss the M9 one bit.
     
  26. they are being updated which seems like every month​
    That's a good thing. Cameras are now more electronics than mechanics. It will be a while until Sony can say to itself that it really doesn't need to update one of its cameras.
    Which begs the question, why hang around a forum with a bunch of fools who use equipment you were the only smart one to get rid of?​
    Because people want to use their Leica lenses on other bodies. ;-)
    These were obsolete when they first came out.​
    No, they were not, but YMMV.
    I'm not sure what's driving you to get Leica M digital body​
    I think they're fantastic cameras, but I think I need more practice with RFs before I make that kind of financial investment. (I have a Canon P - I have no problem with the L39 mount but the VF is not as far left as it is on Leicas). Most of what I shoot now is better done with the system I have used for some time now (Sony). IMHO, the RF shines in social situations, e.g. a party, or a rally, or walking around a foreign city, or in a huge museum, etc, etc.
    Peter Karbe (Chief Optical Designer 2002 - current) gave us a detailed slide presentation of Tradition and Innovation at Leica. It was a 75 minute presentation. Again, a real treat.​
    Wow. Lucky bum!
     
  27. I am getting color images with my M9 that I cannot see getting by other digital rangefinder camera :)
    It is all about the RF experience. The Leica optics are superb, as are many Zeiss and Schneider and Nikon and Canon RF optics. The Leica optics do best on a Leica camera, though.
    Enjoy your SONY cameras if this has been your choice. I am enjoying what works best for me.
     
  28. But I'd rather be reading about them in Sony/Minolta forum to be honest. Of course, from the looks of the traffic over there, it is one lonely place....
     
  29. "But I'd rather be reading about them in Sony/Minolta forum to be honest. Of course, from the looks of the traffic over there, it is one lonely place...."

    There may exist a good reason for why such forums are near vacant.
     
  30. Greg, unfortunately, many of the equipment related forums dealing with Sony/Minolta (DSLRs or SLRS), Mirrorless (Sony including the A7R2, Fuji, Olympus, others) and Leica and Rangefinder are indeed lonely places these days. What is the origin or serial number of this Leica? How do I sell inherited stuff? These and like questions, however valuable for the newcomer, don't push the envelope very far. Admittedly, I post or participate only occasionally, but there is not much of an incentive when these forums are used so infrequently. I am patient and wait for a possible resurgence of interest and increased detail of questions (A bit like Mr. Ingold who may be biased (we all are) but who supports his arguments with some data). As for the question of the M8 and M9 and certain Leica optics, I am a fairly happy user, each has its own specific qualities (altough fine for IR and conventional B&W tonality, 10 MP does not take one too far in large printing, although it does allow the tradsitional RF experience that others do not) and performance levels, but since investing in the Sony A7R2 and a few Sony Zeiss optics I am using them for about 75% of my shooting these days.
    Raid was indeed privileged to visit Leica and to learn something of their present and future plans. Given that Sony and Zeiss can see their designs produced by others or in-house (presumably the case for some Sony optics) at generally reasonable prices, it should incite Leica to attempt to provide higher Q / P ratios in both their cameras and optics, but especially in regard to their lenses. $7500 or thereabouts for a 50mm lens, however excellent, is not helping to increase their presence (and I would suggest, their long term commercial viability). Elsewhere, I believe that they are much past the early ray tracing lens design days before computerised designing, when their accumulated core expertise was something few others had and provided significant differences. Precision manufacturing was a limitation, and maybe still is, but very likely the probable more recent improvements in manufacturing that once was a limitation of those producing lenses at lower prices and higher volume, has changed the situation somewhat. So, as they say in chess, it's your (Leica's) next move.
    Sorry if this sounds a bit like a rant, but it really is just meant as a question for Leica, as I enjoy using both these systems of "mirrorless" photography.
     
  31. "like Mr. Ingold who may be biased (we all are) but who supports his arguments with some data)". Arthur.
    And the argument Edward puts forward is that Leica lenses, particularly wide angles, do work very well on Sony A7 cameras...hardly a camera to recommend to Leica forum members.
    The A7's seems to be struggling to find a home being neither fish or fowl. Large and heavy for a Mirrorless camera especially with those large honking lenses, and a poor autofocus system compared with a DSLR.
    No wonder users are hawking them around varies forums ...hey, they just want a loving home to belong to;)
     
  32. I'm a Leicaphile, who now longer uses them (I still have my Leica projectors and an SL). Unfortunately the M9 came too late as I had switched to Canon thinking they would never go full frame.
    I found James' comments interesting:
    I think a lot of folks pushed their finances & paid top dollar, thinking secretly they would last like an M3, with back up plan; no ability to pay that amount again 5 or 10 years later. I'm a bit like that with my M9.​
    There seems a germ of truth in this. when I was buying Leica they were always pricey, but now they are stratospheric. It was a policy decision and good luck to them, but, unless I win the lottery, I think it is not a sensible move for me, and it may never be again (at least in the digital realm).
     
  33. but especially in regard to their lenses. $7500 or thereabouts for a 50mm lens, however excellent, is not helping to increase their presence (and I would suggest, their long term commercial viability).

    I'm not sure anyone in Wetzlar is wringing their hands over market presence when it comes to the cost of the exotic lenses. They seem to find buyers for the ones they make, however many that is. You certainly see enough images online from people using them. The $7,500 Aspherical 50mm f2 Summicron is there for those who want to, and can, spend that kind of money, just like the $11,000 Noctilux. For the rest of us there's the 50mm f2 Summicron that can be had for 3.75x times less new, or 20-25% of $7,500 used.

    I would venture a guess Leica M digital bodies will still be coming off the assembly line long after Sony has grown bored with their photographic business and moves on to something else.
     
  34. "And the argument Edward puts forward is that Leica lenses, particularly wide angles, do NOT work very well on Sony A7 cameras...hardly a camera to recommend to Leica forum member".
     
  35. Actually, I have said (and demonstrated) that wide angle Leica lenses don't work very well on a Sony A7. They don't work much better on an M9 either, but what choice do you have? Backing off a bit, they work well enough, until you find something better. Lenses designed specifically for the Sony fit that bill.
    This is a Leica thread, and I have no intention of proselyting for Sony. I have an M9P, and it is a great camera - good image quality, small size and good handling. It is limited with respect to focal length, 28 to 90 (maybe 135) unless you wish to endure an auxiliary finder. It is probably the ideal camera for street photography. Unfortunately Leicas and Porsches are often too expensive for people who would make the best use of them. Even used, the prices are often dear. Critical focusing is difficult, wide open, at 50 mm, and at 90 mm it's hit and miss (mostly miss). An eyepiece magnifier helps. I have a 1.4x, plus a 1.5 diopter so I can focus without wearing glasses. You can't see the 28 mm frame wearing glasses.
    I would argue against the M8. Leicas work best with a wide angle lens, which is harder and more expensive to achieve with a sub-sized sensor. Furthermore, the M8 is too sensitive to infrared, making it hard to get good blacks and skin tones. This is solved by using an hot mirror filter. I bought one for a Nikon D2h, which has the same IR problem. The effect of the hot mirror filter is stunning, especially under incandescent light, but daylight too.
     
  36. ... but now they are stratospheric. It was a policy decision and good luck to them, but, unless I win the lottery, I think it is not a sensible move for me, and it may never be again (at least in the digital realm).
    'Stratospheric' is a bit strong. New, M digital has only been slightly more expensive than new M3, M4 etc. corrected for average or minimum wage. This has been discussed many times. It's just that many people bought into Leica second hand, to get full frame film quality equal to that from a new camera.
    That option isn't as attractive for digital M. Old sensors are smaller or not as good with high ISO, and we don't know when they will die, only that it is likely that they won't be repairable.
    On the other hand, there is a fair chance I won't be needing it by the time my M9 dies; if not, I am sure I can come up with some solution. If I had started with Canon EOS, I probably wouldn't have changed.
     
  37. It is not so just the cost of the bodies, but the lenses have all taken a price hike too to very high levels. This includes the secondhand market, except perhaps for lenses that are getting very old (LTMs). As Greg suggests, this was most definitely a policy decision and required to get back into profitability, and to push their luxury status. I don't blame them if this is what it takes for them to stay in business.
     
  38. 'Stratospheric' is a bit strong. New, M digital has only been slightly more expensive than new M3, M4 etc. corrected for average or minimum wage.​
    The price of (e.g.) the 35/2 ASPH has about doubled over the last 10 years, a much bigger increase than we've seen with (say) Nikon lenses with a long production life. Although I agree that buying second hand used to be a more attractive option in the film era, especially when you could count on your purchase lasting a lifetime, I also agree with Robin that hiking the prices has been a deliberate policy, and the current branding reflects this - it's much more about selling a luxury product than before (dedicated boutiques in fashionable cities, and so on).
     
  39. I put together an M6 outfit back in the 1990's that I should have just held on to, but sold in 2004 when I decided to go the digital route and figured there'd never be a digital M. Had I saved all the subsequent money (or even 75% of it) I would up spending on Canon and Olympus digital system equipment, as well as point & shoot models of various brands, between 2005 and 2013, I could have easily funded all the full-frame digital M bodies I might have wanted.
    Two of the lenses I purchased new back then, the 35mm f2 ASPH was a relatively new lens and was $1,495. The 50mm f2 Summicron at the time was the last sub-$1,000 M lens at $995. They've both doubled the past 19-20 years.
    Paid more than that for both, used, when I re-purchased a lens system for the M9.
     
  40. <img src="https://c3.staticflickr.com/1/574/20666206490_132925045b_o.jpg" width="681" height="1024" alt="Portrait in
    Motion"><p>

    Nikkor-PC 10.5cm F2.5, wide-open on the Leica M Monochrom.<p>

    <img src="https://c8.staticflickr.com/2/1462/24280688295_77a62ace4d_o.jpg" width="681" height="1024" alt="Skate and Funzone"><p>

    50/1.1 Nokton, Wide-Open on the M9.<p>

    I find it easier to focus on a moving subject with the rangefinder camera. It is easier to "pan" and focus as the viewfinder does not black out. I've had my M8 for almost 7 years, the M9 for over 5, and the M Monochrom for 3.5 years. I also have the Nikon Df, and mirrorless cameras.<p>

    The M8 is "better than ever" as you can unlock uncompressed "raw" mode. But- M9 prices are way down, I would buy an M9 over an M8 at this point. I will not sell my M8, I've converted some lenses to it- made easier by the crop factor.<p>

    <img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1480/25886708304_b04e1deeb1_o.jpg" width="682" height="1024" alt="Manassas Playground"><p>

    Konica 50/1.7 AR-Mount, converted to RF coupled M-Mount, on the Leica M8. <p>

    Prices for lenses- Nikkor 8.5cm F2- $300; Nokton 50/1.1- $800; Konica 50/1.7 with adapter- $60.<p>
     
  41. Hey Ian...

    If I recall you were pretty happy with your M9. At $3200 the Sony must have cost you a bit to switch over.
    I'm curious what your 5 (or 20) reasons are for being happy with making the move. : )
     
  42. I made the move from Leica to a Sony A7ii as well. What makes me happy for the change?
    • The ability to use practically any lens via adapters
    • A 100% viewfinder coverage with a lens of any focal length
    • Precision manual focusing, at any focal length
    • Built in, adjustable diopter eyepiece
    • In-body image stabilization with any lens. Pixel-sharp images without a tripod
    • Usable ISO to 12,000 or more (25,600 with an A7Rii), compared to 400 in the M9, 800 with noise, 2500 upper limit (non-usable).
    • Wide angle lenses actually sharp in the corners
    • Zoom lenses
    • Battery and memory card accessible without removing parts
    • Articulated rear LCD, making the camera usable at all angles and down to ground level without groveling in the dirt
    • Completely silent, electronic shutter (A7Rii) for discrete use in quiet environments, or vibrationless exposures.
    • Fully integrated lens-body combinations, including EXIF data and auto-aperture
    • Auto focus availability
    • Broadcast quality HD or 4K video (also available in newer digital M's).
    There are many other features in the Sony not available in the Leica, but these represent the ones which make the biggest difference to me.
    The Leica viewfinder makes it easier to follow action, since there is clear space around most of the frame lines. How much action can be captured with relatively short lenses is another matter. There is no viewfinder blackout, unlike the Sony or a DSLR. However that's not an important feature unless you shoot continuously. The startup time from off or sleep is about the same for the Leica and Sony. The Leica viewfinder never goes dark, however, nor does it consume power. The battery life is about the same - 2 hours or 300 images. Leica batteries cost over twice as much, and there are no third-party chargers. I have three batteries and a one-slot Leica charger
     
  43. In other words, pretty much a laundry list of why interchangeable lens autofocus camera systems are preferred by the vast, vast majority of users who use interchangeable lens systems. Nothing earth-shattering. Leica is a niche system. That, pretty much everyone knows. Even Leica.
    My Olympus E-M1 system can't touch the Sony high ISO or video performance. Not that video matters in the least in my case- I've probably shot about 2 minutes-worth of video in the 12 years I've owned digital cameras and that was just fooling around, but it pretty much ticks all those other boxes.
    Why I haven't touched it now for 4 months since picking up an M262 is beyond me, LOL...
    But I'm not quite sure what the problem was in the case of wide angle lenses. I see nothing even remotely unsharp in the corners about the 21mm f2.8 Elmarit ASPH
     
  44. "like Mr. Ingold who may be biased (we all are) but who supports his arguments with some data)". Arthur.
    And often his data is corrected by Eric Arnold on the Mirrorless Forum who also supports his arguments with data. For instance Edward was trying to claim that the A7 could auto focus as fast as a DSLR. After numerous posts he rescinded and excepted that the A7 is more of a landscape/portrait camera . If the A7 was a religion Edward would be the high priest.
    "Actually, I have said (and demonstrated) that wide angle Leica lenses don't work very well on a Sony A7. They don't work much better on an M9 either. Edward.
    However, if you buy a A7 the Sony lenses will be wonderful. He is implying that Leica wide angle lenses are poor performers even on their own cameras ...so we all need to rush out and buy a A7 with the superior Sony lenses. Really.
    Edward is a amateur, with a degree of technical knowledge, his tests are of a amateur nature. He has posted dull lack luster images commented on by other posters, and out of focus images which from his words " the wind was blowing at the time " so what do you expect.
    "I would argue against the M8. Leicas work best with a wide angle lens, which is harder and more expensive to achieve with a sub-sized sensor". Edward
    What is a sub zero sensor other than something Edward has made up. I would argue that the M8 with its smaller sensor can achieve higher technical quality as it is using the sweet spot on the lens.
     
  45. "The Leica viewfinder makes it easier to follow action, since there is clear space around most of the frame lines. How much action can be captured with relatively short lenses is another matter. There is no viewfinder blackout, unlike the Sony or a DSLR. However that's not an important feature unless you shoot continuously. The startup time from off or sleep is about the same for the Leica and Sony. The Leica viewfinder never goes dark".

    Thanks Edward! you might have added the viewfinder is large and clear whilst a electronic viewfinder is inferior in real world viewing.


    Leica M's are expensive, mostly because they only appeal to a niche market, who like the RF experience. However, they hold their value well, and you could argue in the long run, they hold their value in comparison to other digital cameras....so, maybe not so expensive especially if you look on the secondhand market and look at the superb Voiglander lenses. For instance Ffordes were advertising a A7 for just over 500gbp recently and I suspect that price will drop.
    Folk who buy a Leica are not really looking for the latest tech, and there has always has been, and always will be far better technically advanced cameras. So, Leica M owners really don"t need to know about your latest whiz bang, and how much more wiz bang it is better than a Leica M.
    Just as a footnote, when I had problems with the pop up flash on my Leica X1, I was expecting a exciting bill from Solms as it was out of warranty.
    It was repaired, free of charge, and returned in 7 days! So thanks Leica Solms in you are reading this thread, your gesture was appreciated.
     
  46. What is a sub zero sensor other than something Edward has made up. I would argue that the M8 with its smaller sensor can achieve higher technical quality as it is using the sweet spot on the lens.​
    The M8 has a 1.33x cropping factor. That "sweet spot" reduces the field of view of a 35 mm wide-angle lens into the equivalent of a 47 mm "normal" lens. You would need a 24-25 mm lens to achieve the same effect on an M8 as a 35 mm lens on a full-frame camera. A 21 mm Elmarit is a fine lens, but requires an auxiliary finder nearly the size of the lens itself, and you would have to figure the cropping factor some other way (like using a universal finder set at 28 mm) . An SLR or EVF, with a 100% view, has its advantages. By the way, my term was "sub-sized". Was this a typo, or are you playing Eric's game of deliberately misquoting?

    Whether you prefer the clear finder of a Leica, the ground glass of an SLR, the EVF of a mirrorless camera or the open wire frame of a Speed Graphic is a matter of opinion, tempered by the way the camera is used. Your interest centers on street photography and the sordid side of life. I prefer trees, rocks and dirt for subjects, which you hold in low regard. Would I be more "professional" if I consistently tilted the horizon, as though I needed to make a quick getaway before being seen ;) We all have our faults.

    I'm not sure auto focus has a place in this discussion. It is nice to have, but not part of the Leica M experience. The question was posed "I'm curious what your 5 (or 20) reasons are for being happy with making the move [from Leica to Sony]". Since my primary camera for the better part of my adult life was a Leica (the other was a Rolleiflex), I feel qualified to respond. Many items on the list would apply had the change in question been from a DSLR. Been there too.
     
  47. Well, what it comes down to is different strokes for different folks. Depends what you want to do with
    photography. Some like to play with the bells and whistles that different cameras offer, and I have no issue
    if that's someone's interest. On the other hand, unless maybe you're doing commercial work, maximum
    versatility may not be something you need if you're pursuing a fairly focused approach to work.

    You can make good photographs with technology that's 100 years or older if that's your choice. I get
    caught up in trying to find the ideal camera on occasion, but then I realize what is more worthy of my time
    at a certain point is just to go out and shoot. I've never had a camera- even the cheapest box imaginable-
    that couldn't deliver beautiful work, but I've often failed to live up to what the camera is capable of
    delivering. If I can just look deeper and more carefully, and more intelligently at what I'm photographing,
    then to me that's worth more than any difference in cameras of similar ilk.
     
  48. Edward, I'm going to disagree with the accuracy of a few of your statements:

    * ISO performance on the M9 isn't stellar but to say it maxes out at 400 would be for most people not true
    at all. I found 1250 to be just fine.

    * Yours is the first time I've ever heard anyone say Leica lenses don't deliver sharpness to the corners.
    In any case it would be hard to find knowledgeable people that would disagree that they are some of the
    finest most useable camera lenses ever made.

    * I'm not a huge fan of external finders, but when needed they're convenient enough. A Voigtlander
    21mm finder is nowhere near even 1/5 the size of a 21 Elmarit lens.

    Leicas are expensive but so is frequently chasing the latest technology.

    Since I shoot both film and digital, and sometimes on the same day, and Leicas are compact, it's pretty
    convenient to carry a lens each on a digital M and an M7 that can be switched off with each other. I
    have 3 lenses total and shoot with a 35mm 70% of the time, with a 50 or 28 the rest of the time.

    I think the biggest gripe I had with the M9 is that the frame lines were so inaccurate in showing
    the greater amount of territory the photo was actually covering, something that was hard to get used to and
    account for.
     
  49. ISO performance is subjective. I find the noise at ISO 800 somewhat objectionable. It's nowhere as disagreeable as 800 film, though. For plays, I'll crank it to the maximum if necessary. Let's say it adds to the atmosphere.
    The frame lines for the M9 are calibrated at 1 meter. Since the lens is cranked out as far as it will go, the FOV is naturally smaller at that distance. Previous models were calibrated at 2 meters. It's easier to crop than to look for pixels that were never there. The M9 has ample resolution for cropping.
    I don't chase technology, but put a lot of thought into buying equipment. Bodies come and go, but the real investment is in lenses. My strategy is to leapfrog. My first Sony, an A7ii, became my backup to an A7Rii. My first Leica was an M2, and my second an M9. How's that for a leap? The M3 was inherited in 2014, sparking my interest in the digital version.
    I'm not going to belabor the issue about corner sharpness. Ken Rockwell has an extensive set of comparisons on his website which demonstrate what I'm talking about. Suffice to say that corner sharpness with a Leica compared to my Nikon prompted that leap. There is some smearing, but it affects less than 10% of the image area. It's the sort of thing that doesn't bother you until you look for it. Reviewers cite vignetting, but I almost always darken the corners for dramatic effect. It pulls your eye to into the subject. Ansel Adams would approve. Likewise, I'm not convinced perfect corner sharpness matters in a practical sense, except for large groups (like a school band or orchestra).
    The Leica is a fine piece of machinery, and takes excellent images. However the Sony does everything the M9 does and more. It is sharper, quieter, more versatile and has far wider selection of lenses. Moreover it does everything I need a camera for, whereas the Leica only covers about 60%. For all of that, the Leica inspires a sense of tradition and craftsmanship, which the Sony lacks. Sounds like the plot for a musical, eh ;)
     
  50. I do not pay any attention to what Ken Rockwell posts online. Just take photos, and don't worry about the differences in opinions. The elegance of Leica M cameras is one factor that I find important to me as I see other brands with more bulky camera bodies .The rangefinder experience is extremely important to me too. Which other full frame digital RF camera competes with the digital M series?
     
  51. Leica lenses are sharp, but in any case sharpness is not at all the only measure of a lens. There is also such a thing as too sharp- on the edge needle sharp- which is something at times I think about the images that come out of my Sigma DP-1.
    Ken Rockwell is in the business to promote and sell equipment, whichever piece of equipment it may be.
     
  52. "I made the move from Leica to a Sony A7ii as well. What makes me happy for the change?"Edward.

    If you are happy with with your move from Leica to Sony that is all that matters for you. However, us Leica users are also happy with our M's.

    We really don't need to be preached to about the latest wiz bang.
     
  53. "However the Sony does everything the M9 does and more. It is sharper"Edward.

    Once again I refer you to your own posts.
    You posted that you bought the latest Sony zoom and it was good as your Zeiss primes. Indeed you were seriously thinking about selling those primes.
    You posted photos to prove that the Sony zoom was just as good as your Zeiss prime lenses. They were rubbish to put it bluntly, dull and flat, which you excepted when other posters pointed it out.The last photo you posted from your M9, even to the untutored eye ,was in a different place. The richness of tonality, sharpness, and...do I need to say more?
     
  54. Edward, I get two thoughts about your posts.
    The first thought is I'm talking to a kindly gentleman, who is very excited about his new camera, and wants to tell the world about how wonderful it is.
    The second thought is that I'm actually talking to Sony's marketing...sort of, get onto the forums, and promote the product.
    I like the kindly gentleman thought best.
     
  55. <img src="https://c3.staticflickr.com/2/1470/23985093090_888ddd1a4f_o.jpg" width="1024" height="681" alt="Skate and
    Funzone"><p>

    50/1.1 Nokton, wide-open, 1/125th second ISO 2500, Leica M9.<p>

    <img src="https://c5.staticflickr.com/1/512/18970241924_758eceeff7_o.jpg" width="681" height="1024" alt="Skyline
    Caverns"><p>

    35/1.2 Nokton, 1/25th Sec, ISO 2500, Leica M9. <p>
    <p>
    Using a slower 4x memory card reduces noise, improves high-ISO performance on the CCD based cameras.
     
  56. <img src="https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7415/16335237507_580a22188f_o.jpg" width="682" height="1024"
    alt="M8_4_F15_ISO5000"><p>

    Leica M8, using M8RAW2DNG- ISO 5000 equivalent. Shot at Base ISO160, exposure made on Manual using the M
    Monochrom metering at ISO5000. Pushed in post using Lightroom levels.<p>

    <img src="https://c5.staticflickr.com/8/7353/16520126332_e8e17514ff_o.jpg" width="681" height="1024"
    alt="Monochrom4_F15_ISO5000"><p>

    The M Monochrom shot, same exposure, same lens, ISO5000. <p>
     
  57. Allen,
    I never should have responded to Ray's question regarding the Sony. This is a forum where sacred cows are draped in flowers, and barbecues are not welcome. I feel it was an honest answer, just not appropriate.
    The CCD of the Leica M9 produces lush colors, especially greens and reds, whereas the Sony CMOS is more reserved (clinical). It's like comparing Fujicolor with Velvia. I have room to manipulate the Sony images, but they're never going to look the same, nor would that be a worthy goal.
     
  58. Using a slower 4x memory card reduces noise, improves high-ISO performance on the CCD based cameras.​
    Wait. You're sure about this? I believe you that the M9's ISO limit is often misunderstood. I'd peg it at 2000 from what I've seen. But the idea that the SD card has something to do with noise makes me a little bit skeptical.
     
  59. I firmly believe this, and you can find discussions on the Leica forum that show memory cards that produce banding
    problems. Fast cards will produce more bursts as data is moved from the memory buffer to the card. Using a slower card
    results in a steady readout. Data bursts produce emissions, put more draw on the power supplies. A CCD based digital
    camera uses off-sensor A/D converters which are more susceptible to electrical noise.

    I did some quick, informal tests for this when I first got the M9. Used a high-speed card shooting at the skating rink, results showed banding. Used a 4x card - banding was gone. Never went back. Maybe some day I'll try some tests and run the DNG files through a 2D FFT. That was the 1980s for me.
     
  60. I took a few test shots this afternoon to illustrate my comments about corner sharpness. No color adjustments were made (irrelevant in this case), nor sharpness added. I resampled image from the Sony (42 MP) to equal that of the Leica M9 (18 MP) for a better comparison. In previous posts, I left the Sony images at full resolution, which in a 1:1 crop, is equivalent to using a 10X loupe, leading to accusations of being out of focus. Everything's out of focus at 10x.
    Overview
    [​IMG]
    Comparison Grid (as labeled), from the area describe by the red box above
    [​IMG]
    A7Rii + Novoflex Adapter + Summaron 35/2.8 @ f/5.6
    [​IMG]
    The last image clearly illustrates degradation in the corner caused by the thick (2 mm) cover glass on the Sony sensor. This is visible to a lesser extent when the lens is used on a Leica M9, which has a 0.9 mm cover glass. If you wish to see how a Summicron and Summicron APO perform, refer to Ken Rockwell's site. I don't have them. I included results from a Zeiss ZM 35/2.8, which is noticeably better than the Summaron, which I bought in 1964.
    In the top panels, I compare two lenses made for the Sony A7, a Zeiss Loxia 35/2 and a Sony 24-70/2.8 GM, set to 35 mm. This should support my conclusion that the zoom lens is superior to any other lens I've used in that range.
     
  61. Not fair, Edward. Although good in the centre, both 35mm Summarons (3.5 and 2.8) are known to be weak in the corners. Similarly the collapsible 50 Summicron.
    Even Erwin Puts, the famous Leica apologist says so ;). Don't use these images from 55 year old lens to beat Leica around the head and ears.
     
  62. Not sure how many threads I've seen on this site go over 60 posts, and so far off the original posters question.

    Now all we need is someone jumping in with a Nikon D5 and do some comparison shots against an M8 and 50mm f2 Summitar and we'll really be cooking.....
     
  63. Not fair, Edward. Although good in the centre, both 35mm Summarons (3.5 and 2.8) are known to be weak in the corners.​
    My results with the Summaron are consistent with similar tests performed by Ken Rockwell on newer versions, including the M-ASPH. The Summaron ranks high in these reviews, especially f/4 or greater. You say you've never heard that Leica lenses were anything but sharp? If you still have doubts, show us where we're wrong.
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/comparisons/35mm-summicron/sharpness.htm#c56
     
  64. Brian, maybe M8 and M9 owners should stock up on those slower memory cards before they disappear! I have some SanDisk 8GB cards which are Class 4. I assume they are the ones you mean? In any case, I think a lot of people, I included, don't quite appreciate the nuances in technology. They think that digital is digital. But oils ain't oils and water ain't water.
    Edward, it seems that Sony is onto a winner with the 24-70/2.8 zoom. It is, however, optimized for digital, and so we should expect it to perform so well.
     
  65. My results with the Summaron are consistent with similar tests performed by Ken Rockwell on newer versions, including the M-ASPH. The Summaron ranks high in these reviews, especially f/4 or greater. You say you've never heard that Leica lenses were anything but sharp? If you still have doubts, show us where we're wrong.
    Edward,
    My mathematics are pretty awful, but as far as I can see it, Ken Rockwell was showing very small crops of .5% of an M9 18mp jpeg image, and while he distinguished between 35mm Summicron lenses on the basis of quality, he was very enthusiastic about their overall image quality.
    Doing a bit of edge image pixel peeping on my 3.5 Summaron with goggles, I was disappointed about the corner quality even at f8, the aperture at which your superior 2.8 and my 3.5 are pretty much similar, according to Erwin Puts' Leica Lens Compendium.
    I compared images with a Canon tm 35mm f2, which looked equally sharp centre and corners at all apertures, but was outclassed in the entire central area by my Summaron, again at all apertures.
    Nothing wrong with your lens, just a 1958 design for a budget Leica lens had to make choices.
    To get back to the thread, a great lens for an M8, with slight natural cropping
     
  66. James,
    Nothing wrong with your math. The crops I posted represent a very small area of the image, about the same as Ken Rockwell - 700x600 pixels out of a 5216x3472 (1.9%). Had I used the original resolution of the A7Rii, the number would be 7952x5305 (0.83%). As I said, it's a tough test. It's funny what you find once you start to look.
    The fault is less with the lens than the nature of digital sensors, which must have a cover glass both for physical protection and IR attenuation. The difference between the 0.9 mm filter of the M9 and the 2.0 mm filter of the A7Rii is shown rather clearly in my illustrations. It's hard to say how any of these lenses would perform on film, because the M9 is sharper by far than any color film I've ever used. My folder at (http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=1082377) illustrates the difference between Ektacolor 100 in an M3 v the same lens (Summicron 90) on the M9. The longer the lens, the less the effect of the cover glass.
    Taking a step back, notice that the pine (fir, spruce, whatever) needles are quite sharp except in the extreme corner. For me, that was ample reason to look beyond Nikon for landscapes and architecture. Where Leica falls short, I've enumerated above. If these factors don't matter to someone, they can be safely ignored.
     
  67. Edward, it seems that Sony is onto a winner with the 24-70/2.8 zoom. It is, however, optimized for digital, and so we should expect it to perform so well.​
    Agreed. I just replaced the slim neck strap (ThinkTankPhoto) with a SunSniper cross-shoulder strap, which puts less strain on my lower back carrying that beast.
    I suspect lenses for the Leica SL601 are optimized for digital, judging from recent reviews. Native lenses for the Sony, both Sony and Zeiss, account for the cover glass in their design, but perform poorly on other cameras and in normal MTF tests (LensRentals inserts a 2 mm glass for testing). Leica primes will probably evolve along the same path, but perhaps not the M versions.
     
  68. Karim- I DID stock up on them! Have at least 20 that get circulated between the M8, M9, M Monochrom- and even the
    Nikon Df when shooting High ISO.

    On a humorous note, I do a lot of embedded systems programming and had to get a supply of 256MByte CF memory
    cards. Larger cards slow the OS down. Bought 50 of them.
     
  69. Most of my cards are Class 4 cards.
     
  70. Edward
    'These images were shot with a LEICA M9' ..... '460 x 460 pixel samples were cropped from the full images' - Ken Rockwell
    not quite 'about the same as Ken Rockwell - 700x600 pixels'. Your crop is twice the size
    Sorry to be a pain, but I won't roll over and let you tickle my tummy;)
     
  71. not quite 'about the same as Ken Rockwell - 700x600 pixels'. Your crop is twice the size
    Sorry to be a pain, but I won't roll over and let you tickle my tummy;)
    Irrelevant! Would not my examples, at twice the size, diminish the apparent effect by half? Besides, you can't compare my results directly with those of Ken Rockwell. There are different subjects and experimental conditions. Comparisons are only valid within the confines of that experiment. Even MTF charts made with precision instruments can't be compared between manufacturers and laboratories.
    One of the things I wished to illustrate is the contrast between sharp and distorted portions within the same image. This gives both an idea of the effect and it's extent within the image area. In previous experiments, I used a much smaller crop size (350x350) and a full 42 MP image. Everything in the image was blurred, leading to Allen's assertion that they were simply out of focus. (In my experience, very few things are IN focus, on the pixel level, with a 42 MP sensor.) I used f/5.6 because at that aperture, differences between lenses are minimized, and diffraction has not yet become dominant.
    My effort was sidetracked, so some extent, by Photo.net size limits, which cut the size of my uploads in half. If you go to my portfolio and click on the image, it will be displayed at the original size.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/18248599&size=lg
    The other point I wished to make that 35 mm lenses designed for film don't work well at all on the Sony A7. Secondly, the same effects are seen when the same lens is used on a Leica M9, but to a lesser extent. The reason derives from the physics of light. A piece of parallel glass increases the optical path by a distance of about 1/3rd its thickness. The effective thickness is proportional to the tangent of the angle if incidence. The shorter the focal length of the lens, the greater than angle of incidence in the corners. Finally, the effect is greater at infinity than at closer distances, because the lens is closer to the image plane.
    My experiment was designed to test the performance at the limits of the lens and system. In a positive sense, everything you do will be better, especially if you never look for problems.
     
  72. Just say no to MTF charts is what I say. Shoot real pictures with the intent to fascinate and see how things
    come out over time. Use the tools that suit you and help you achieve what you want.

    Any camera in the hands of a good photographer is capable of making images that can move people. That to me is what counts.

    A used M8 is a fine choice if that's your inclination.
     
  73. This could have been an interesting thread. It should have been about the Leica M8 & M9. Instead some off brand camera was entered into the mix that is neither rangefinder nor Leica. Ray, above, says it all, "shoot real pictures....."
    Good luck with your photography.
     
  74. Just say no to MTF charts is what I say.​
    I think examining an image with your eyes is the best thing. Measure twice, cut once. That way, you can take photos without having to think about equipment too much.
    Karim- I DID stock up on them!​
    I think I should buy a few more 4GB and 8GB ones. Just a few. ;-)
     
  75. Not how I would want to be using my 21mm Leica superwide, this particular model released in 2011, so definitely designed with digital sensors in mind. At least, the ones Leica uses....
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/comparisons/2015-09-30-sony-leica-canon/index.htm
     
  76. "which in a 1:1 crop, is equivalent to using a 10X loupe, leading to accusations of being out of focus. Everything's out of focus at 10x". Edward".
    Sorry to be pedantic, but I was referring to a specific photo which was out of focus....which you claimed was because "the wind was blowing among the leaves". Claiming technical expertise..."the wind blowing among the leaves" does not cut it. Your recent examples, to my eyes looked over cooked,with blocked shadows. Correct exposure, in any lens testing is a must. You have constantly claimed that your Sony A7 is suitable for sports photography; claiming it can focus as quick as any DSLR. After many many posts you eventually conceded that you were incorrect..
    It can only be concluded, that you are very biased; and to your mind, the Sony A7 is a paragon of perfection.
    For the rest.
    What Ray said.
     
  77. Leica M8...the ten year old beast is still going strong...
    00e129-563879884.jpg
     
  78. Just as an after thought...
    A lens is not just about MTF charts but about how it performs with changing light/ flare etc. For instance,I sold my Fuji X100 due flare issues, which I found really annoying...otherwise a great camera.
    The bottom line, as already mentioned, is the quality of the photograph it produces as perceived by the human.
     
  79. <img src="https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7301/27786342042_b0323997d3_o.jpg" width="1024" height="681" alt="Skate and
    Fun Zone"><p>

    50mm F1.1 Nokton, wide-open, 1/125th second, ISO2500, Leica M9. "Pan, and Follow-focus". I keep focusing while
    panning with the subject.<p>

    <img src="https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7177/27275284154_c95bfe9501_o.jpg" width="1024" height="681" alt="Skate and
    Fun Zone"><p>

    50mm F1.1 Nokton, at F1.4, 1/250th second, ISO2500, Leica M9. <p>

    I always use uncompressed DNG with the M9. This is especially important at High-ISO.The DNG compression scheme introduces Banding that is not in the true raw image<p>
     
  80. Trees, and rocks and dirt...with some water thrown in...
     
  81. <img src="https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7714/27824215182_cc92a11849_o.jpg" width="1024" height="682" alt="Marine
    Museum, June 2016"><p>

    Leica M8 using M8RAW2DNG, 3-stop underexposure then boosted in LR6- ISO1250 Equivalent.<p>

    Konica 50/1.7 AR-Hexanon, converted to RF coupled M-Mount.<p>
     
  82. To me shooting Leica's was always about the rangefinder focusing (with interchangeable lenses). The fabled Leica image quality is exaggerated. I've owned aspherical and non-ashperical Summicron's and Summilux's, in 35mm, 50mm, 75mm - all M Mounts, and I have taken photos with $100 Mamiya MF lenses, and a $10 Petri Racer that are every bit as good. But if the rangefinder style photography particularly resonates with you, simply buying an autofocus camera that looks like a rangefinder may disappoint.
     
  83. I have an M8 and an M9 (no M as yet). The M9's my general go to camera. The M8 has a special trick -- infrared. It is sensitive enough to put normal infrared filters (not IR cut filters, but deep red and almost black) on the lens and voila, decent infrared pictures. You do have to adjust the focus somewhat as you would with any camera. Works surprisingly well.
     

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