Erwin: More on M8

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by jtdnyc, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. http://imx.nl/photosite/comments/c030.html
     
  2. "The bottom line is that the M8 is a most pleasurable camera to use that can open your eyes to the basic understanding of the photographic process and can produce extremely high quality images as a result," he says.
     
  3. He's waxing rhapsodic, I'm not sure how much of that is really useful in evaluating the M8, but since it's way above my price range anyway, it certainly doesn't upset me.

    I find the M8 an interesting camera, but by the time the M8 is "affordable" on the used market, it will already be losing some of the things that make it useable (card format availability, interface to the computer, availability of spare parts, etc.). And much though I'm attracted to it, it's five times as expensive as competitors which are likely to return just as good a result. I love my M2s and I can afford them over decades of acquisition, but I don't think the M8 can have the same long economic model. Maybe that's good for Leica, because truly the M2's of the 50s still compete head on with the M6 and M7.

    If there is truly going to be a digital rangefinder renaissance, I think it will be a 4/3rds camera with a 2x sensor, small Leica lenses, and a price tag in the affordable range, say $1500 (probably manufacturered by Panasonic or Olympus or somebody other than Leica but using Leica lenses). Or maybe it will be an interchangeable lens smaller camera with something like the new Sigma sensor.
     
  4. I have to disagree with that last part, sadly. The fact that anyone, let alone a waiting-list of people, would pay $5000 for a camera that requires an external filter on every lens to make up for excessive IR sensitivity, should be proof enough for anyone that Leica can count on their customers to buy anything the company turns out, not to mention defend it as viciously as a momma grizzly her cubs .
     
  5. On this subject, Erwin writes a great deal but says almost nothing.

    I am becoming very cynical about whether there is any value in such online "reviews". I am coming to the conclusion that they are worth no more than the price we pay for reading them.
     
  6. I'm sure the M8 is a useful camera. If I could get one with a 28mm lens for $1000, I might even consider buying one myself.
     
  7. the latest edition of LFI has more objective and comprehensive evaulation than all that have been put up by Puts in his web site.
     
  8. Built in obsolessence, thats my quirk, film M cameras seem to last sooo much longer at the top, just a thought.....
     
  9. Jerry, it should be obvious to anyone who regulary visits this forum that Leica CAN'T rely on their customers to buy anything they produce OR defend them. Please get real - we are.
     
  10. John, it should be clear that few of the people who visit this forum are actually Leica customers. Most of it is just chatter by people who have never bought a new Leica product, and many of them have never bought ANY Leica product, new or used.
     
  11. Why didn't they start putting the damn IR filter between the sensor and the shutter? Like,
    add another layer above the moire filter.

    This 'buy a filter' nonsense just seems quite over the top to me.
     
  12. I don't know what all the fuss is about. Personally, based on my experience using Technical Pan film, I like a little extra IR sensitivity.
     
  13. "Why didn't they start putting the damn IR filter between the sensor and the shutter? Like, add another layer above the moire filter."

    If, by the word "they" you mean Leica - Leica didn't design or manufacture the sensor. Kodak designed and made the sensor. But, I'm sure that collectively the engineers at both Kodak and Leica aren't nearly as optically design savvy as you are. I guess they just didn't understand the problem like you do. Why don't you go to work for either Kodak or Leica and straighten them out?
     
  14. The reason they didn't put the strong IR blocking filter in was it didn't fit with certain lenses. It was a mechanical space issue. Now if you want to eliminate certain lenses you could do it. This would be a marketing nightmare, unfortunately the IR filter just wasn't strong enough, I am sure by time the M9 hits the market you will not need an external filter (I am offering lunch bets on this to those who live in the Boston area).

    This does not occur with SLR's becuase they have a mirror to worry about, so other makers like Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Minsony, etc have an easier solution.
     
  15. You have to shake your head on the conjecture as to why leica chose to not put in an IR block
    filter.

    Especially since the solution to that decision's major consequences was not engineered and
    put forward a year, or many months ago before camera release, but after the cam had
    reached customer hands and the most trivial of snapshots exhibited the problem. Leica then
    *reacted* with the filter cure and discount program to pacify users.
     
  16. Discount program???? You mean that Leica has admitted that the M8 has a serious design
    deficiency and has significantly reduced the price as an acknowledgement? And promises on
    its heart to do better next time? $5000 for this inherently faulty camera is nothing short of
    extortion and/or exploitation of the gullable. The camera works, sort of. So does a Lomo.

    Reduce the price? Yes, that would go down well with the customers who paid the inflated
    price and saw their "investment" plummet in value. The only way to force the issue is to vote
    with your wallets and sink the Leica M8 Edsel - unsound at any speed.
     
  17. I believe it's 2 (or is it 3?) free IR-block filters and a 30% discount on a lens. Heh, kind of a
    clever way of driving lens sales...
     
  18. **Why didn't they start putting the damn IR filter between the sensor and the shutter? Like, add another layer above the moire filter. This 'buy a filter' nonsense just seems quite over the top to me.**

    My understanding is that they designed it this way on purpose, knowing full well that there might be an IR problem but just a minor one that could be handled with software. Apparently every digital camera has to implement a solution to this problem, usually with an IR filter on the sensor. To achieve a level of quality that matches the Leica lenses, Kodak/Leica opted to put a thinner IR filter or layer on the sensor itself. This nor the software solution eliminated the problem, hence the occasional magenta color problem. But I just saw a review of a new Canon digital camera that said it also had a magenta coloring probem, I assume from the same IR source. This is the "great digital electronic company" with a decade of experience making the same mistake in 2007. Frankly, I don't mind the idea of using an IR/UVA filter on all three of my Leica lenses. I have UVA filters on them already. So, this is no change at all. If I wanted to shoot in certain situations without the IR/UVA filter, I would just take them off. You cannot take them off of the sensor. Thus, Erwin's latest essay narrowed down the choice criteria to just one: (given you already have Lecia M lenses) Is it worth $5,000 to shoot Leica-type photgraphy with a camera that allows immediate feedback and then storage of as many shots as you want. So, the digital criteria in general, which also means no more messing with film, film processing, storage, scanning, and printing of the scanned digital image.

    Are these digital advantages worth switching from M2-M7 photography? People who already use M2-M7 cameras want to keep doing that type of RF photography. We may have a digital camera as well, but we still prefer M2-M7 cameras and film. Now that the M8 digital solution is available, M2-M7 users have the option of continuing but in digital format. How can anybody complain about being given a viable technological choice? All that remains is the $ 4,750. We cannot wait around for the nice supply of used/formerly own mint like cameras like we did with the M2-M6. I actually thought that my used M6 TTL was extremely expensive at $1200 after having been given a $500 Nikon auto everything film camera.
     
  19. When a company disingenuously tries to cover up some technical defects in its product in an attempt to sell ice to Eskimos, and when caught (infra)red-handed, offers a wheelbarrow free of charge so the ice can be easily carried, and still have its die-hard faithful customers clinging to defend it, you have to laugh.
     
  20. Personally, I'm still on the fence about buying an M8, mostly because of reservations I have about digital imaging in general, such as its rendering of human skin and of highlights, as well as the near-impossibility of putting a digital file onto gelatin silver paper in a home darkroom. But some of the published reports I've read, including those that describe the magenta problem in critical detail, nonetheless claim that the M8 produces the best digital files of any camera available short of medium format.

    For someone who already owns Leica lenses and who wants or needs to go digital right now, the M8 strikes me as an imperfect but reasonable solution to a technologically difficult problem.
     
  21. Larry you are dead on target. Pentax encased the sensor on its camera so that dust would not stick, if the filter was bonded to the sensor package I think it would work as you said, and make sense out of a snafu.

    I was hoping that the M8 would be in such demand that anybody who bought one would no longer have use for their M6 M7 or MP and FS adds would be so plentiful that a buyers market in E+ used cameras and would cut prices of film Leicas a lot. Too bad so many have cancelled their M8 order.
     
  22. You don't need an IR filter all the time - only in those limited combinations of subject and lighting where it makes a difference. Secondly, you don't need a filter on all your lenses, just one lens at a time.
     
  23. Hi Mr. Bob Atkins , your views are well known here this much is sure
    and I for one accept this. However a camera such as the M8 plus a a 28mm lens for $ 1000.00 now I think you lost it. Perhaps you can give us an example the 5D I used for a while does not even come close to film in fact none are performing with wide lenses. Sorry if I offend some here but this I wanted of my chest. Your call Mr. Atkins!
     
  24. http://www.dpreview.com/news/0701/07010403fujifilmfinepixis1.asp


    maybe Leica should carry two favours of M8, or make it an a la carte option, or introduce a
    black paint version, or a full frame version.

    the truth is you can't find a unit on the shelf, despite its price tag and despite all the negative
    reporting which looks like more a bug list.
     
  25. Brad .. bingo! much like buying a car with defective air-bags and the manufacturer offering crash-helmets at a 30% discount. hospital vouchers for surgeries?
     
  26. But, as a Canon advertiser, why would Bob say anything to harm that relationship?
     
  27. Other companies just put the IR filter on top the sensor, behind the shutter.

    And Mr. Swineheart, I bet the whole reason it's messed up in the first place is because there
    were a hodgepodge of companies in on this deal.
     
  28. "Frankly, I don't mind the idea of using an IR/UVA filter on all three of my Leica lenses. I
    have UVA filters on them already."

    Using a filter all the time, especially in difficult low light situations, is a recipe for disaster. I
    can't believe that this is their solution.
     
  29. "Why didn't they start putting the damn IR filter between the sensor and the shutter? Like, add another layer above the moire filter."

    Yeah? Which moire filter would that be then?

    Perhaps a little research would be in order before making rash statements...
     
  30. rj

    rj

    It's about time an interchangeable lens digital camera came out that wasn't a friggin slr. I said this about the Epson RD-1 too. I hope that we see this "trend" continue and have more choice in the non-slr digital camera market.

    BTW, the shots that I have seen from the M8, printed that is, are pretty good, better than I thought they would be given the inferiority of digital compared to film. ;-P
     
  31. Despite all the name calling and brou-ha-ha over this imaging device as being less than a whole of its parts I believe Leica has produced something which can approach the M system of photography in a digital product. Some of the images posted from the M8, even in jpeg for crying out loud, border on the fantastic. But I believe many have missed one of the most important aspects of this camera which is its b&w ability. For me this is the biggie. And when you shoot b&w it requires none of the filters. Even though I occasionally shoot some color slides with my M, IMO b&w IS Leica rangefinder photography. And yes, I still want one, but I can wait awhile to see what develops (pun intended) from both the technical and obsolescence or lack thereof side.
     
  32. even in jpeg for crying out loud, border on the fantastic. But I believe many have missed one of the most important aspects of this camera which is its b&w ability. For me this is the biggie. And when you shoot b&w it requires none of the filters

    You seem very happy with your new cam. You want to cry out loud.

    It does not need filters when it shoots b&w. So you are telling us that it needs filters to work correctley when using color? Is this new cutting edge digital technology? Curious?

    Can you post some pixs so i too can experience the 'border on the fantastic'.

    Thanks.
     
  33. "Hi Mr. Bob Atkins , your views are well known here this much is sure and I for one accept this. However a camera such as the M8 plus a a 28mm lens for $ 1000.00 now I think you lost it. Perhaps you can give us an example the 5D I used for a while does not even come close to film in fact none are performing with wide lenses. Sorry if I offend some here but this I wanted of my chest. Your call Mr. Atkins!
    "

    I don't think he'll be offended because no matter how many times I read this I don't understand what the heck you're trying to say. If we want to compare the M8 to the Canon 5D, the 5D has a larger, higher resolution sensor than the M8. But even if we say they are in some way comparable, then sell the M8 for $2800 then, not $5000.

    Interestingly when I decided I couldn't afford the M8, the camera I DID buy was the Canon 5D, even though I had a considerable investment in lenses. It's a lot bigger than my M2 and more complex, but its a great camera.
     
  34. One can use great Leica M lenses on M8.
    That is the only advantage that M8 has comparing to other digital cameras.

    I hope M8 is a successful one and Leica keeps making great lenses and provide good service for my MP for next decade.

    I am happy with Canon Rebel XT for digital side.
     
  35. Furthermore, if it were leica's considered engineering decision to offer IR-block filters right from the beginning during the development process, one would wonder why those filters weren't supplied to their early reviewers. In other words, filters were not in the plan, but an afterthought when leica discovered some people were actually fussy about their photographs.
    What's really striking, is how easy it is for just regular shooters taking ordinary snapshots in routine shooting situations to come across the problem. Certainly not unique shooting situations.
    Apparently leica and/or their beta testers weren't very fussy, and that leica assumed their customers would not be fussy as well. Seems some are still not, as the last minute "solution" with filters is being greeted with open arms.
    However a camera such as the M8 plus a a 28mm lens for $ 1000.00 now I think you lost it. Perhaps you can give us an example the 5D
    Well, the 5D is a far more advanced camera in every respect.
     
  36. Ever notice that half the people on the Leica forum are Canonites? Ever notice that half the
    people on ALL forums are Canonites? I wonder if they ever take pictures?

    JC
     
  37. Ever notice that half the people on the Leica forum are Canonites? Ever notice that half the people on ALL forums are Canonites? I wonder if they ever take pictures?
    Well, I do have a canon (though don't identify with the brand - ie I'm not a canon photographer), but clicking on my name will reveal I do take pictures.
    How about you, do you take pix?
     
  38. "I wonder if they ever take pictures?"
    Just not as frequently as you, John.
     
  39. All brands have their new-model bugs, that's a different issue entirely. But it's lucky for Leica they have such an incredibly dedicated customer base because if, at this point in digital technology, Canon or Nikon put out a camera without an effective IR filter and then told everyone they need to buy over-$100 filters for each of their lenses, there would be a mass defection to the other brand and probably a class-action suit. Then again if Canon or Nikon at this point in digital technology put out a 10mp cropped-sensor camera, with or without an IR filter, for $5000 they wouldn't really need to worry about anyone buying it.
     
  40. "Ever notice that half the people on the Leica forum are Canonites? Ever notice that half the people on ALL forums are Canonites?"

    I haven't noticed that ... but my first serious camera was a Canon Model 7. Later, I bought a Canon F-1, and only much later a Leica, though I used Leica lenses on my Model 7. I wonder if there is some subliminal reason people who use Canons gravitate to Leicas and vice versa. I'm gonna have to check see if their focusing rings turn in the same direction or some such.
     
  41. Let me just throw a question out there for thought. Just how much do you have to shoot to get an RD-1s or an M8 to pay for itself? On that basis, given your shooting rate, how long would it take for you to get the machine to pay for itself? Think of the thing as a shooter, not a collectible.
     
  42. "Just how much do you have to shoot to get an RD-1s or an M8 to pay for itself?"
    Well if you can get $5,000 per image then I guess you'd only need to shoot one...
     
  43. SP - You neglect to include the price of the latest ASPH lens and the absolutely necessary Luigi half case without which no one in their right mind would be caught dead shooting with a Leica.
     
  44. rj

    rj

    "Well, the 5D is a far more advanced camera in every respect."

    So what, it aint no rangefinder. Thats like saying its more advanced than my Cambo 4x5, of course it is true, but so what.

    "Just how much do you have to shoot to get an RD-1s or an M8 to pay for itself? On that basis, given your shooting rate, how long would it take for you to get the machine to pay for itself?"

    This is one of the great things about not being a professional who really should figure this out. I don't think of my shots in terms of cost/benefit/when the equipment will be obsolete ect. I buy equipment that I can afford, what fits my shooting style and what I like, fairly simple.

    "You neglect to include the price of the latest ASPH lens and the absolutely necessary Luigi half case without which no one in their right mind would be caught dead shooting with a Leica."

    Spoken like a true non-user.
     
  45. >> Well, the 5D is a far more advanced camera in every respect.<BR><P>

    >>> So what, it aint no rangefinder. Thats like saying its more advanced than my Cambo
    4x5, of course it is true, but so what.<P>

    Ha, great nonsequitur (and typical knee-jerk response), RJ. Try again reading the complete
    context of the original statement and my response.<P>

    Seems my statement as to why photographers would pay more than Bob's value (for a M8
    and
    lens) for a 5D
    was lost on you. Has nothing to do with whether the cam is an RF or not, but why some
    will pay more for the more advanced technology employed, as is found in the 5D.
     
  46. Spoken like a true non-user.
    Well, I suspect Nels, eschewing the luigi case and the best this and that, coupled with the fact he's actually a photographer, will gladly accept your characterization - a badge of honor, of sorts.
     
  47. It's been pointed out a couple of times that the need for corrective filters is nothing new in photography. Why is this message not sinking in? My Dad's model II required a yellow filter to avoid overexposing the sky with black and white film. So does my IIIc, my MP, and everything in between. I use a skylight filter to remove excess blue from shots taken in the shade; 81A, B abd C warming filters; a Tiffen 812; an FL-D for correcting fluorescent light; and a blue filter for correcting the excess yellow of late afternoon sunlight.

    New technology calls for changing habits. You guys are resisting an IR filter like I resisted Photoshop. OY, all those buttons to learn about and click on.

    Leica could have ordered the sensor (I guess) with a more conventional IR filter, but I understand the image quality would have suffered. I can imagine the kvetching then: "LEICA MISSED AN OPPORTUNITY TO ACHIEVE THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE DIGITAL IMAGE QUALITY! ALL THEY HADDA DO WAS TELL US TO USE AN IR FILTER ON THE LENS FOR CERTAIN SHOTS! WHAT A LOUSY COMPANY! (etc.)
     
  48. I find it interesting that all the folks who own the M8 are out there using them and
    enjoying the experience and the images the camera produces. It's also interesting that
    Leica cannot produce enough M8's to keep up with the demand for the camera and there
    is a backlog for them going into February. Not bad for such a maligned piece of
    equipment. All the wannabe whiners who can't afford it and the complainers, who will
    never have one, seem to be the only one's unhappy about its existence. Perhaps the
    moderator of this forum could sent all you naysayers to a string where you could bitch
    among yourselves and the rest of us could enjoy the excellent photo's and great
    experiences of those who really own this camera.
     
  49. I find it interesting that all the folks...
    I find it interesting that all the folks who are the most defensive on this subject don't have any photos when you click on their name. Plenty of talk, though...
     
  50. "Yeah? Which moire filter would that be then?"

    They didn't include a moire filter? What are they trying to do, commit suicide?

    In any event, despite the snide fanboy comments from the peanut gallery, my original point
    still stands. Why not insert a filter on top of the sensor like every sane digital camera
    company does? Nice attempts at evasion though.
     
  51. There's plenty of photo's around taken with this camera, Brad, maybe if you looked instead
    of nitpicking you'd find them. On the other hand maybe your a perfect candidate for that
    string I mentioned earlier. Oh, did I say that out loud. There I go getting kicked off this
    forum again.
     
  52. Hi Ron Breeze , the moderator here is Mr. Bob Atkins ! I for one do not own the M8 nor do I intend to purchase one in the near future .
    I still use film since I do not make my living taking photos film is a small expense. I did have a go at the 5D but found after doing careful tests with my Apo Macro Elmarit on the Canon ,film Astia in this case scanned with Imacon came up better on my R9. All I wanted was Mr. Atkins to expain to me the merit of his statement ( if the M8 with 28mm lens was $ 1000.00 he would buy one too)I do still think he lost it and yes I am fully aware one can not compare the 5D to the M8.
     
  53. There's plenty of photo's around taken with this camera, Brad, maybe if you looked instead of nitpicking you'd find them.
    No, Ron. You didn't read what I said: I find it interesting that all the folks who are the most defensive on this subject don't have any photos when you click on their name.
    As an example, I click on your name and see no photos. I find that interesting. I've seen many M8 pics, a few are here, for example.
     
  54. It's been pointed out a couple of times that the need for corrective filters is nothing new in photography. Why is this message not sinking in? My Dad's model II required a yellow filter to avoid overexposing the sky with black and white film. So does my IIIc, my MP, and everything in between. I use a skylight filter to remove excess blue from shots taken in the shade; 81A, B abd C warming filters; a Tiffen 812; an FL-D for correcting fluorescent light; and a blue filter for correcting the excess yellow of late afternoon sunlight. New technology calls for changing habitsNo one could argue with that last statement. However it goes to disprove your own point. Filters were needed with film (and BTW, only in specific instances, not all the time. If you believe you only need an IR filter on an M8 when shooting people in black polyester garb, better read up on photographic IR sensitivity). Aside from the M8, no current high-end digital camera needs an external IR filter on the lens to combat excessive IR sensitivity of the sensor. The change of habit you refer to applies only to people who own an M8, and has nothing to do with new technology. Leaving off the IR filter is not "new technology", it was--by Leica's own admission--a compromise made because they couldn't solve it and some other alleged problem together. It remains to be proven whether that other problem was in fact an image-quality issue, or mostly the perceived need to meet the Photokina deadline.
     
  55. Leaving off the IR filter is not "new technology", it was--by Leica's own admission--a compromise made because they couldn't solve it and some other alleged problem together.
    What's really troubling is the filter solution eventually put forward itself was a reactive compromise made after production cameras were in peoples' hands and complaints came in. Rather than a considered engineering tradeoff taken during development - which occurred over the previous couple of years.
    There can't be any doubt they knew about the problem early on, but probably thought the majority of their customers were not that fussy on image quality. And didn't consider the extremely efficient manner in which the internet distributes information.
    The filteres and discount program "solution" came weeks after the complaints and negative reactions on the net.
     
  56. The speed at which Leica reacted and implemented the "fix", including having a supplier producing a run of Leica-branded IR filters to be in dealers' hands in a couple of months, is an impossible stretch to believe they did not have it all in place long before the camera was in customers' hands. Then all they had to do was act ingenuous, pull the bouquet of flowers out of their sleeve and wait for the enraptured fans to burst into applause <wink>.
     
  57. rj

    rj

    Ahh, now I get the problem. Leica took a few weeks to fix the initial problems that their customers were complaining about, shame on them. If you really want to compare, compare Leica's reaction time to Nikon or Canon's with a product issue. We wouldn't be talking about weeks, more like months if at all.

    The fact is the M8 is a good camera, one that fits with what an actual Leica M series user would want in a digital camera. They were able to make the digital m camera much like the film camera trying to keep their customers happy. All this internet banter from non-users really shows how efficient the internet is with regards to spreading bulls*&%.
     
  58. All this internet banter from non-users really shows how efficient the internet is with regards to spreading bulls*&%.
    No need to get angry, RJ. You've stood up for your brand and have taken a position that leica should be commended for their commitment to excellence and with their great "fix." That kind of loyalty is very admirable - I certainly don't have a problem with that.
     
  59. Me neither. As long as Leica can make enough profit to stay in business selling only as many M8's as there are people willing to accept them as they are, there shouldn't be a problem for anyone.
     
  60. "In any event, despite the snide fanboy comments from the peanut gallery, my original
    point still stands. Why not insert a filter on top of the sensor like every sane digital camera
    company does? Nice attempts at evasion though."

    Because the filter degrades the sharpness of the image; as does an anti-moire filter.
    Medium format people have put up with this for a long time -- it's simply a design choice.
    Take your pick -- more sharpness, along with the need to remove moire with software
    when necessary; or, more convenience, get the moire removed in camera, with softer
    photos.

    Lots of serious photogaphers who use DSLRs are primarily concerned with speed, ISO, and
    automatic features, because they are working in fast-moving, fast-changing conditions --
    wedding, PJ work, etc. To get the auto features, they are willing to accept the softness you
    get with DSLR sensor-mounted IR and moire filters, and somewhat inferior lenses.

    With Leica lenses, however, and with the typical Leica working style, which does not focus
    on speed or automatic controls, Leica chose to wring the most sharpness they could get
    out of their sensor. That, they felt, would make the best use of their lenses. They got the
    sharpness, but there is also some occasional moire to be cleaned up in software, or the
    need for IR cut filters to be used if there's a lot of synthetic black materials being shot. The
    moire clean-up is trivial for anyone who has ever used post-processing software, and can
    be done on a spotting basis -- you don't have to soften the whole image to clean up the
    moire. You can also use or not use the filters -- but try to unscrew the IR filter on a Canon
    or a Nikon for more sharpness. Of course, many excellent DSLR shooters aren't concerned
    with more sharpness -- their photos are being printed on toilet paper anyway (newspapers
    or news magazines) or a slight softness is regarded as desirable (no need to record every
    last pimple on the bride.) And that's fine; what you want is what you want. Leica shooters
    want sharpess.

    The story out of Leica is that they knew about the IR sensitivity, but they didn't think the
    effect was strong enough to be a major concern. Unless you've used the camera, it's hard
    to understand -- but it's perfectly possible to take hundreds of shots (landscapes, city
    scapes, still lifes) without seeing the IR shift except in certain enhanced greens (in foliage,
    for example; and by enhanced, I don't mean wrong, I mean more separation of shades.)
    The problem comes mostly with dark neutral shades (black, grey, dark blue) of usually
    synthetic materials, or materials recently washed in some laundry products, which reflect
    an unusually large amount of IR. Then you get a magenta shift. The most awful example
    I've seen of this was a picture of a symphony orchestra, all in black tuxes, which were now
    vaguely magenta tuxes. But for ordinary street shooting, you didn't really notice unless
    you went back and compared materials to the photographs -- there's an awful lot of real
    reddish-colored clothing around. Sean Reid, who does camera testing, published a whole
    series of street shots that contained magenta problems, and didn't see the problems until
    other people started reporting it. He then went back and looked, and found quite a few
    examples of it. In my shooting, I usually found it only in interiors, lit with incandescent
    lights, and sometimes, it *was* disconcerting, but not in the expected ways. That people
    would have reddish shirts usually was not troublesome -- it just wasn't something that
    you'd notice, because they might have been reddish. But to see a pile of reddish nylon
    briefcases *was* troublesome, because you *knew* they weren't.

    In any case, the M8's problems did not arise from stupidity, but from design choices. The
    resulting tumult is basically an artifact of the internet, where teen-aged aggression seems
    frequently married to ignorance; which is one reason that the most extreme statements
    about the cameras seem to come from people who don't own one. As far as the camera
    itself is concerned, it is selling well, is being heavily used, and according to the biggest US
    dealers, is back-ordered for months.

    JC
     
  61. Lots of serious photogaphers who use DSLRs are primarily concerned with speed, ISO, and automatic features, because they are working in fast-moving, fast-changing conditions -- wedding, PJ work, etc. To get the auto features, they are willing to accept the softness you get with DSLR sensor-mounted IR and moire filters, and somewhat inferior lenses. With Leica lenses, however, and with the typical Leica working style, which does not focus on speed or automatic controls, Leica chose to wring the most sharpness they could get out of their sensor.In other words, Leica M as of the M8 is no longer the camera for quick candid street photography but is now, what? The choice of still-life and landscape photographers in place of their view cameras? Or perhaps the M8 is the quintessential tool for photographing bookcases and newsprint to showcase those $3000 ASPHERIC lenses :wink: many excellent DSLR shooters aren't concerned with more sharpness -- their photos are being printed on toilet paper anyway (newspapers or news magazines) or a slight softness is regarded as desirable (no need to record every last pimple on the bride.) And that's fine; what you want is what you want. Leica shooters want sharpess. So then, the bulk of professional photography is crap by crap photographers, vs the masterpieces created by Leica users of...their grandchildren, backyards and bookcases? The story out of Leica is that they knew about the IR sensitivity, but they didn't think the effect was strong enough to be a major concern. ..In any case, the M8's problems did not arise from stupidityAnd you think the former isn't a case of the latter?The resulting tumult is basically an artifact of the internet, where teen-aged aggression seems frequently married to ignorance. Well that's one point you have proven :wink: As far as the camera itself is concerned, it is selling well, is being heavily used, and according to the biggest US dealers, is back-ordered for months.The people who put this forth conveniently forget to mention an actual number of back-ordered cameras there are. It looks like no more than about 2500-3000 of them have been produced since the beginning, that's about 1500 a month. If the backorder is through March that's another 4500. Can Leica make money selling only 7500 cameras? That's 36Million gross, but subtracting materials, labor, shipping, advertising, Leica-USA's cut, and the dealers' cut, what's left first has to pay off 2 years of R&D before there's any profit. If they can call it a success after 7500 and not care if there's anyone left, once the loyal Leica lovers are done buying, to keep buying them, then by all means I applaud them for not wasting money making changes that would allow the M8 to appeal to the rest of us. JC
     
  62. It's absolutely ridiculous to have to put a filter on a camera to ensure it records color correctly. I've never heard such nonsense; anyone who purchases such a lemon needs their head examining.
     
  63. "many excellent DSLR shooters aren't concerned with more sharpness -- their photos are being printed on toilet paper anyway (newspapers or news magazines) or a slight softness is regarded as desirable"
    Opinions from a person who shoots exclusively with his mouth, worth less than a piece of toilet paper - after use.
     
  64. To get the auto features, they are willing to accept the softness you get with DSLR sensor-mounted IR and moire filters, and somewhat inferior lenses.
    With statements like that you have to wonder if the poster has any photographic experience.
     
  65. but they didn't think the effect was strong enough to be a major concern. ... you didn't really notice unless you went back and compared materials to the photographs -- there's an awful lot of real reddish-colored clothing around ... I usually found it only in interiors, lit with incandescent lights, and sometimes, it *was* disconcerting ... That people would have reddish shirts usually was not troublesome ...
    As I said earlier, leica was no doubt counting on many of it's customers not being very fussy and having a more casual attitude towards image quality.
    Many photos posted here, as well as on other sites, the problem was apparent right off the bat and in very ordinary shooting situations. Such as the set of photos on this site.
     
  66. rj

    rj

    So is that the kind of photography you are always claiming you like to look at?

    The fix for the magenta shift is a simple filter screwed into the front of the lens, big wup. If leica says its a design choice to keep image quality up to par, I got to believe them. The shots I have seen from the m8 are pretty good.
     
  67. "Ahh, now I get the problem. Leica took a few weeks to fix the initial problems that their
    customers were complaining about, shame on them."

    I think the problem is not the speed of the fix, but the nature of it instead. Their solution
    is a band-aid when reconstructive surgery is indicated.

    "Lots of serious photogaphers who use DSLRs are primarily concerned with speed, ISO,
    and automatic features, because they are working in fast-moving, fast-changing
    conditions -- wedding, PJ work, etc. To get the auto features, they are willing to accept
    the softness you get with DSLR sensor-mounted IR and moire filters, and somewhat
    inferior lenses. With Leica lenses, however, and with the typical Leica working style, which
    does not focus on speed or automatic controls, Leica chose to wring the most sharpness
    they could get out of their sensor."

    I don't know if I agree completely. Many if not most of the Leica users out there use their
    cameras handheld which should negate any sharpness advantages the lenses hold (if any -
    I am not sure a Leica 35 f/2 blows away a Canon 35 f/2 even at 10x the price). Bokeh is
    subjective. But the moire filter does not actually destroy sharpness - it simply prevents
    information above the Nyquist frequency from entering the sensor - that information is
    above the sensor's ability to resolve real data, and instead unpredictable sampling errors
    occur. We see those errors as moire patterns. It will be interesting to compare the M8 to
    cameras with similar resolution that possess a moire filter. My guess is that they will yield
    a similar amount of data or resolution, with the filtered camera having a better image
    especially under difficult conditions.

    "The story out of Leica is that they knew about the IR sensitivity, but they didn't think the
    effect was strong enough to be a major concern."

    But it is. And I have seen more than a few M8 shots lately here that show it to be a real
    problem, despite what Leica thought. Most of those shots are indoors without flash - a
    place where one would be tempted to use Leica's fast sharp lenses wide open. The
    solution is to screw a filter over the front of your lens and shoot that way? That will
    drastically effect your photographs in difficult lighting with increased reflections and flare.
    Leica probably already knew this "but they didn't think the effect was strong enough to be
    a major concern".
     
  68. "It's absolutely ridiculous to have to put a filter on a camera to ensure it records color
    correctly. I've never heard such nonsense; anyone who purchases such a lemon needs their
    head examining."

    Well, the color filters are laminated onto the sensor in color digital cameras (with the
    exception of the Foveon). Why Leica didn't also include some kind of IR blocking laminate
    directly on the sensor is beyond me. It is my understanding that it can be done even on
    cameras that have no moire filter.
     
  69. So is that the kind of photography you are always claiming you like to look at?
    No, and your comment is disingenuous in the extreme. The photos are a great example of how the magenta problem shows up in very normal outdoor shooting circumstances.
    Perhaps you don't shoot outdoors. Not to worry, though, as people have posted pix here showing the problem with photos taken indoors as well.
     
  70. More on M8
    If you read that really fast...
     
  71. If leica says its a design choice to keep image quality up to par, I got to believe them.
    Believe all you want.
    A design choice, such as asking customers to place external IR-block filters on each of their lenses, would have occured and brought forward during product development (1-2 years ago). Not a month into production when units are being sold and in customer hands, and spurred by complaints.
    That's called a bandaid.
    Believing in and sticking up for your brand is very admiral, though.
     
  72. RE "Why Leica didn't also include some kind of IR blocking laminate directly on the sensor is beyond me. It is my understanding that it can be done even on cameras that have no moire filter."


    With an IR filter over the sensor the bitching then would be by wideangle lens users. Rare folks like me who tend to use 50mm and longer lenses might like the camera because we wouldnt have to find 58mm IR filters for the noct, 48mm IR filters for a nikkor etc.

    The downside of an IR filter over the sensor is with Leica wideangles. Their non retrofocus design means the light strikes the sensors edge at a way way steeper angle than a Canon EOS wideangle, which is retro focus. The light is way more normal to the sensor with a retrofocus lens. The steep angle makes for a poor IR blocking filter.

    Thus the design fork in the road is what camp ticks off the wideangle groupies versus tick off having to place an ir filter over the lens. Its not rocket science. The flange to sensor distance of a Lieca RF is way way shorter than a Canon EOS. Retro focus lenses are required on slrs to make the lens not foul the swinging mirror. A byproduct of a retrofocus lens is that the light is more normal to the sensor or film than a pinhole or non retrofocus lens.

    With the EPSON R-D1S the sensor is smaller in size than the M8, if Leica used an Epson sized sensor a third set of old farts would be complaining too! :)

    Grab a 15mm VC lens, and a similar focal length retrofocus slr lens and see how the light is way more normal when its used off axis.

    Leica is not going to build another lens mount. The M8 was designed around a 7 decade old lens system, about 5 for M. Folks whine and want FF sensors on a Leica M, like they want to pig out and drink beer that magically makes one loose weight. There are major conflicts/tradeoffs in the Leica design that the Canon drebel doesnt have.
     
  73. Magenta problems are nothing new to digital, old digital scan backs like I have require they. They came out when the fastest CPU was a Pentium. Also earlier digital cameras often had poorer IR filtration and one got weird effects on many man made materials. With non film studio work your client quickly notices the images of their apparell product masterpiece has false color, if you deny it you just look like a duffus. Those who have not heard of magenta problems with digital are like folks in a dream or time warp who have never heard at least one of the following items: of Britney, the Beatles, or any war in the middle east, that the sun rises, etc.<BR><BR>
     
  74. <Why Leica didn't also include some kind of IR blocking laminate directly on the sensor is beyond me.>

    Leica has offered an explanation for this, though some contributors to this forum who claim optical expertise have disputed its validity.

    The explanation, as I understand it, is that such a filter would have a variable effect on different parts of the image since the rays, especially from wide-angle lenses, would enter the filter at vastly different angles and therefore travel through different thicknesses of glass.

    This problem is not encountered with such filters in SLRs because the rays from SLR lenses, if not truly parallel, are much closer to being so.

    Personally, I don't know whether this explanation is valid, but it seems unlikely to me that Leica would have overlooked so simple a solution as you propose if it were in fact possible and didn't take an inordinate toll on image quality.

    I agree that the rush to meet the Photokina deadline probably had an influence on the manner in which the M8 was introduced but I question whether it influenced the technological solution settled on.

    It doesn't seem likely to me that Leica had the front-of-the-lens filter solution up its sleeve when the camera was first presented. If that had been the case, I don't think the company would have allowed itself to go through two weeks of public relations hell, only to announce a solution that would take months to become generally available. But, you never know.

    Looking for a point we can all agree on, could we at least share the view that we want the company to succeed as an independent entity? I don't see how the world would be a better place either without Leica or with Leica as a legacy brand name for a larger company with a different ethos.
     
  75. Obviously, I was typing while Kelly was giving the explanation.
     
  76. I sort of agree with BRAD in that the IR filter of the lens appears to be a bandaid.<BR><BR>If it was well understood they should have ramped up a decent supplier to build IR blocking filters already.<BR><BR> The magenta problem must have been known early on in prototyping. Maybe they have whussy spineless management like the usa does too, where engineering folks are branded NOT team players if the bring up flaws like shuttle o-rings and magenta problems ? <BR><BR>With a moving target on high tech stuff often management spouts its time to shoot all the engineers and release it to production, and let the sustaining engineers "fix" it while in production. Software is often like this too:) <BR><BR>Its sort of like if Detroit made a new SUV that stalled if it went thru 6 inches of water, and users had to place a bra over the front "to fix the problem", and no other SUV required it.
     
  77. It's not so much about technological limitations per se, as it is about coming clean with them up front, explaining the pros and cons, and earning and keeping the trust of the customers. Getting caught trying to push a defective product and them offering up a bandaid solution is downright embarrassing and incompetent, and asking early reviewers to hush up about posting the findings in candid reviews is just plain unethical.
    Any explanations put forth after the fact stating that the limitations were design choices, without offering a formal apology, smacks of arrogance on part of the management and their contempt for their customers by underestimating their intelligence.
     
  78. The magenta problem must have been known early on in prototyping. Maybe they have whussy spineless management like the usa does too, where engineering folks are branded NOT team players if the bring up flaws like shuttle o-rings and magenta problems ?
    I would not be surprised with that scenario.
    For a project like the M8 I suspect you'd want at least a dozen beta testers. Two dozen would be much better. Even if the issue escaped the designers during development over the first two years of the project (highly unlikely), a handful of the beta testers would have caught it - especially since it's shown to be *so* easy to find a shooting situation where the problem occurs and no doubt the testers were very seasoned photographers with an eye towards quality.
    Imagine you're the M8 project manager, and you need to brief corporate management 4 months before production release that there's a major problem on the horizon. And that you've already blown your budget and schedule.
    That's not a set of PowerPoint slides I'd be thrilled about creating...
     
  79. Any explanations put forth after the fact stating that the limitations were design choices, without offering a formal apology, smacks of arrogance on part of the management and their contempt for their customers by underestimating their intelligence.
    Summed up nicely. Also, the fact that M8 reviewers were not supplied with IR filters with their evaluation cameras, further reinforces the notion the solution was an afterthought.
     
  80. I hope you folks don't mind a post here from someone that actually owns an M8.

    This is my first Leica, and despite owning Canon DSLRs that cost MORE than the M8 and L lenses, I LOVE my M8. I intend to keep it AND buy more lenses for it. Why? First, because I bought the M8 specifically to have an option to my auto-everything Canons, so a filter on the lens really isn't an issue to me. Second, because the lenses are a fraction of the size of my Canon's so I can carry 3 or 4 with the M8 in a small pack. But mostly because it has no anti-alias filter.

    Without an AA filter, the M8 captures far more detail than any Canon or Nikon I've ever used. In M8 images faces have texture, you can count hairs, and eyes sparkle. If you question this, visit a Leica dealer with your own SD card and take some test images.

    Clearly Canon and Nikon could easily build cameras without the AA filter and thereby capture the same level of detail. However, they've made a marketing decision not to. Having read a lot of Canon marketing and technical material about the AA filter, I believe the decision was based the fast their customer base is biased by high-volume and consumer users. Both of these users would have a negative reaction to any need for filters or to remove moire or color casts in post processing. Threads like this one have no doubt earned those marketing folks a promotion and raise so I don't expect either company to revisit that decision. Ironically, that could be a good thing for Leica as it'll leave a niche for them to fill.

    As for folks who post comments like "the 5D is a far more advanced camera in every respect" or "a camera that needs a filter to render color acurately is ridiculus" - the only folks you're impressing are point-and-shoot users.
     
  81. Actually the only people you're impressing are other M8 owners.
     
  82. world would be a better place either without Leica or with Leica as a legacy brand name for a larger company with a different ethos.

    That is a cult statement which has nothing to do with photography. It is a product, nothing more,if you want to join a cult, type, 'cult' into google there are a lot of choices.

    My understanding is that PN is a photographic site not a place for irrational 'cult' beliefs.
     
  83. Let us all be perfectly honest.

    If you walked in a camera dealers and was looking at a camera which the salesman told you was great for BW but you had to put a special filter on for Color you would think he was taking the P....... wouldn't you! He then went on to tell you blacks would turn Magenta, without the special filter, depending on the material........you would be thinking have I got 'dopey written on my forehead'.......wouldn't you!

    You would probably answer him back, 'don't tell me', before you press the shutter release you have to sing 'Amazing Grace' in C minor with 6 beats to the bar.
     
  84. I might say something, once I stopped laughing, checked the calendar to see it wasn't April 1st, and realized the guy was serious.

    If it was a 16 megapixel full-frame and Leica said before it went on sale "look fellas, this is what you're going to have to accept because of the short lens-sensor plane distance of a rangefinder, yadda yadda" then maybe I'd stroke my beard in thoughtful consideration.

    But a 10mp with a crop factor is already two steps back from the current state-of-the-art in the >$2000 arena, plus they sprung the filters on the public after the fact, singing out of one side of their mouth that it was a planned compromise, and out of the other side of their mouth that they were reacting to something they hadn't figured would be significant enough to be addressed. Put it all together and it doesn't sound like a very confidence-inspiring company to give 5000 hard-earned dollars.
     
  85. <That is a cult statement which has nothing to do with photography.>

    Perhaps if you don't shoot with a Leica, what I said about my hopes for the company could sound like a cult belief...to you.

    But if, like me, you are concerned about the future availability of new Leica products, the continuing availability of parts for old Leica products and service under existing warranties for which you paid a premium (as I did), then the desire to see an independent Leica succeed in the marketplace, producing unique, premium products, is very much related to photography.
     

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