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

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

  1. I used Leica M2/M3 cameras exclusively for 35 years. My first SLR was a Nikon F3, purchased used in 1999. While I appreciate the quality of Leica cameras and lenses, I have no illusions regarding its shortcomings in actual use. If the OP wants a Leica and can afford it without undue stress, it's not a bad choice, but a limited one. I think the M9, being full-frame, is more useful than the M8, and a couple of years newer, but $1500 v $3000 is a factor which cannot be ignored, particularly if the rangefinder experience doesn't work out. I've also uses a Leica IIIF extensively, with screw mount lenses. If you can abide that primitive viewfinder, a Leica M of any vintage will be paradise.

    I bought lenses for the M9 in addition to the lenses I used over the years, which later proved useful on a Sony A7, but I would not recommend buying any rangefinder lens for the Sony when you can buy native lenses which are superior in every way for less money.
  2. Gus- My statement is still true. If you want to buy lenses to adapt for a Sony- get dead-mount SLR lenses like the Konica AR mount lenses. Spending extra money for RF lenses for a camera without an RF cam and a thick filter stack makes no sense whatsoever. If you want to buy the least expensive Digital camera that is optimized for a rangefinder lens, it is the M8.

    And yes: I have my lenses precisely characterized for focus shift at various F-Stops and I know exactly how much to compensate. Including the 50/1.7 Konica Hexanon, Minolta 50/1.4 MC mount, and Canon 50/1.4 FL mount that I made my own RF cams for.
  3. [​IMG]Cox Farms Fall Festival by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    I'm guessing this is probably the only RF Coupled Konica 50/1.7 AR-Hexanon. No problem with focus shift, accurate from 0.8m to infinity. This lens, with the adapter- under $40. Highly suggest it for mirrorless cameras, or anyone with a leg from a broken tripod that likes to make RF cams.
  4. Why do I get the feeling that unless Im using the latest wiz bang camera Im sort of a stupid person. I get that feeling if Im using a cell phone. Hmm.

    I always thought its about the photograph.....I just wonder how those old timers managed.
    kin_yu|1 likes this.
  5. That's not the message Allen.
    I've stated this before, if you already own an M8, then enjoy it. But if you're currently considering the purchase of one, keep in mind of a possible parallel.
    What if someone was advising you to buy a 1st generation iPhone; or even a 10 year old Plasma flat screen TV. Who would take that advice ?
  6. Gus, that's a false analogy. Progress is not as simplistic as you seem to believe. Sometimes the older technology is at least as viable as the new. In the case of energy, petroleum is still the best fuel for personal transport. It will not stay that way indefinitely, but today it out-performs everything else.
  7. Huh? I feel you've missed the point:
    So among other performance & support issues, you wouldn't be concerned with the "simplistic" fact of the age of a non replaceable battery in an 'old' iPhone? And should something go wrong, a 100% repair refusal rate.
    Or simplistically speaking, the hours of a 'cooked' screen & electronics of a heavy energy guzzling 'old' plasma TV? And should something go wrong, also a 100% repair refusal rate.

    The fact is that the price has come down tremendously on both of these particular examples. All the while performance, weight and efficiency has progressed by many 'generations' on their proceeding models...
    Life Lesson: On any of these extreme examples (Including the M8), purchase only if it's a BARGAIN/STEAL...
  8. You are not wrong. But the free market has set a price for the M8. It's not likely that you're going to get a bargain. ;-)
  9. The M8 was a $5000 camera when new, one in really good condition, relatively low use at 20K clicks or so, $1000 would be a good price now that the M10 is out and the M9 has dropped to the $2000 range. Much more than $1200- I would go for the M9. I have both, and the M Monochrom- so no need add another M8 or buy an M10. Having 1/8000th second shutter speed is useful for shooting wide-open in bright light.

    My M8: zero Defect sensor, I use it with M8RAW2DNG exclusively. The Dynamic range of the M8 sensor is 3dB greater than the M9, probably due to more need to thin the sensor for the full-frame format. About 20K clicks, and 8 lenses custom shimmed and adapted for it.
  10. It is still a great camera. In a right hand and also with a lucky buy to find a least used m8 will be a blessing.
    But there's one thing more inportant thing to consider.
    Ddon't buy a M8 but a M8.2 or M8.2U ( an upgraded version ) to avoid further worries about the shutter breakdown due to highest shutter speed at 1/8000.
    So all the M cameras reliable shutter speed is limited to 1/4000. It was stablished by Leica when they upgraded m8 into M8.2 and it was continued om all M camera.s up to the present. I have gone through that and still my M8.2U is a great camera for me.
  11. I'm shooting an M9 now but am thinking about a new one. That said, I still have my M8 because it is a niche camera. It's a camera that allows you to take quite good color shots (only 10MP though) but which you can also, without conversion, take very nice handheld IR photos with the right IR filter. Not quite as dramatic as the old Kodak IR film, but quite good and a heck of a lot easier to take than those old IR photos were. All you need is a filter. No conversion, no IR film with a changing bag to load it in. That's makes it worth keeping for me.
    allancobb likes this.
  12. Buying Leica M8 in 2017--does it make sense?
    not unless you have a time machine.
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  13. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Hmm... I'm working on a time
    machine now... it'll be done
    last year...

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