Buying Leica M8 in 2017--does it make sense?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by tomleoni, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Why not? The rangefinder experience is in itself a nod to the passe'. The M8 is nothing but a way to marry digital convenience to all that I loved about my Leica iiis and my M3. Sure, it would be nice to go for the $6k M10, but I don't know that I could live with my conscience spending that much.

    Anyway, especially after seeing some of the advice here, I ended up buying the M8. Before, I test-drove a new Leica M from Washington DC's Leica store to see if I would like the feel of a digital M. I equipped it with a 35mm f/3.5 LTM Summaron and a f/2 Planar. So far:

    What I like:
    • Most importantly, because it's a Leica and because I like it, I'm a lot more prone to take it with me at all times (best camera = the one you have with you at the moment)
    • Feels, handles and focuses in a way not too dissimilar to the M3
    • The built-in meter is a nice addition compared to what I was used to having to do (my own estimates, or hand-held metering for more important shots)
    • Ditto for the aperture-priority feature, which is nice for street/people/snapshots, while letting you retain control of the image
    • Best of all, as a digital system this gives me instant control of ISO and white balance
    • Battery life is much better than I thought
    • Don't feel like I hurt myself financially, at $1,500 with a couple adapters
    What I don't like:
    • The LCD was better on my Motorola RAZR cell phone
    What is not a big deal, although a nominal drawback:
    • The sensor crop factor
    • The 10MP limitation--I don't plan on making poster-sized prints
    • The ISO range limitation (I don't think I ever even used film faster than 40)
    • The sound of the shutter cocking (who cares? It's still not a K-TSCHLACK! of a DSLR)
    BTW, this is my first and only digital camera, so a lot of what I like about it is tied to the convenience aspects of digital... Still, I'm excited to have this particular model.
    kin_yu|1 likes this.

  2. Don't forget your cell phone.
  3. OK.
  4. tomleoni likes this.
  5. I used a Nikon D200 for a while and it was 10mp. I have on my wall a print that is 20x30 and tack sharp at any viewing distance. The camera was pretty good but it could not handle things that were white. The ASA limit of 400 was ok with me as I shoot film and am accustomed to that speed anyway. My son wanted a camera so I gave it to him and moved on to other stuff. Mostly I shoot a Nikon FM2n these days.
  6. Don't forget your cell phone.

    I don't.

    I have many images from my...err (sorry not a iPhone ) Samsung G7 im very pleased with. Then I've got many images from my M8 Im very pleased with.

    Using a Leica or the Samsung G7...or, Iphone does mean you have a hairy chest.
  7. 20160927_143452-01-01.jpeg Samsung G7
  8. Do you have to be so insulting? You had an A7ii in your hands for a few days and you're an expert? The A7ii has 117 phase detection sensors, compared to 399 in the A7Rii. The difference is like night and day, and the A7ii is not exactly a slouch. In fairness, the manual does not tell you how various options interact, often negatively. That's when experience counts.

    My Nikon D3 is better with continuous focusing with tracking, assuming you can lock on to a subject. For single-servo focusing, my Sony A7Rii is faster, unless you use the live view mode or silent shutter mode. Even in silent mode, it is good enough for relatively stationary subjects. Sony has facial recognition, eye recognition and smile recognition, which are great to use for portraits and photos of active children. You can train it to recognize certain faces, and it will find that face in a group.

    Tracking is interesting. A Nikon will track a selected object, and drop it if it moves outside the focus matrix, then find another object. The Sony, in normal tracking mode, will wait, if the subject moves out of the frame, until it reappears or you release the shutter button and acquire a new subject. The focus area on a FF Nikon is about 25% of the screen. In a sony, coverage is over 80%

    There are two types of autofocus adapters. Some use a focus detector in the adapter, newer versions use the AF detectors in the Sony imaging sensor. The best reported results are with a Canon adapter and lenses. There are also Nikon AF-S adapters, even AF adapters for Leica mount lenses (focus at infinity, let the mount do all the work)..
  9. From my understanding I'd need to pre-select one of 3 zones with a 135mm's focus ring, since the AF adapter hasn't much draw to offer?
    I'm curious about Sony's 3rd generation and what it will improve.

    Enjoy your M8 @tomleoni !
  10. "Wow!you have posted many times and excepted that any a7 variation is no match for a DSLR for sports and action photography. Methinks you have been eating too many fairy cakes, Edward.

    Do you have to be so insulting? Edward".

    "if you want "garish," there are JPEG modes which will accommodate you. For adults, there are other options". Edward.

    Hmm, the Sony A7 is a real proper camera especially for adults...only a child would like the err garnish colours of....Just thought you were enjoying a bit of banter Edward sorry if my comments offended. Sort of got confused when you were claiming the A7 was the new super sports camera a lot better than a Nikon/Canon DSLR which most pros use.

    "I'm not trying to proselyte for Sony in a Leica forum, but that's the evolution I've gone through, and the reasons I think it was a good choice". Edward.

    Come on Edward....really. Its rare a M post does not have Edward expelling the virtues of the a7. You often pop over to the Nikon forum from time to time:)

    "Buying Leica M8 in 2017--does it make sense?...the actual post",Edward.

    Yes, if you like the rangefinder expeience there are few other options at the price point.You also have to take into account its a 10 year old cam and parts might be difficult to source...although Leica are good at keeping older cams going and offer gererous trade ins.

    It is a simple camera to use f8 and you are there. and still takes technically great images; to my mind second to non.
  11. I bought an M8.2 for $4 K several years ago. I sill have it for B & W and IR. Excellent camera!
    tomleoni likes this.
  12. tomleoni and allancobb like this.
  13. No.
  14. It makes more sense than buying a rangefinder lens for a Sony camera.
  15. I wish I'd seen this thread earlier, but there's an interesting discussion about the M8 here. If there's one thing the M8 can do is great B&W and especially easy handheld IR. Just throw on a R72 filter, set ISO to 640 and you're good to go.

    kin_yu|1 and tomleoni like this.
  16. I'm not familiar with the ins and outs of an M8, but the M9 has two options to tame the shutter release. A "Soft Release" changes the standard 3-stage release (take-up, set exposure, shutter) to two stages, mimicking the feel of an M3. The "Discrete" option delays shutter winding until you let up on the shutter release button. It's no quieter than normal, but less obtrusive than the immediate click-wind action, and lets you put the camera down or delay winding to where the noise might be less noticeable. This mimics the operation of an M3, where you might delay winding the film to a more opportune moment.

    Nonetheless, a digital M is not a quiet camera compared to one of the film Leicas, most mirrorless cameras or even a Canon 5Diii. In modern terms, an M3 is not particularly quiet either.
  17. Really; compared to the comparably priced pre-owned Sony A7 mark II
    So you're okay with:
    1. Focus shift errors,
    2. Rangefinder device error,
    3. IR filters necessary in order to shoot color,
    4. A 10MP relatively low resolution cropped sensor,
    5. Solid, no "Image Stabilization" sensor or lens feature,
    6. Poor 'review' LCD screen resolution,
    7. Non-OEM battery replacements,
    8. Low count buffer & SD card capacities,
    9. Firmware, parts & service support availability issues...
    Really? At least the M9 is currently still a yes, but the M8 is an illogical 'roll of the dice'...
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  18. I would recommend an hot mirror filter to shield the M8 from infrared. Tiffen makes one with good coatings in their higher end series. An hot mirror filter uses an interference principle, with little or no effect on visible light transmission.

Share This Page